After prolific career at Allegheny, former Norwin receiver moving up to Division I FCS level

Saturday, May 25, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Record-breaking wide receiver Declan O’Brien isn’t done catching passes yet.

After a brilliant three-year run at Allegheny College, the Norwin product is planning to play a fifth season at a higher level.

O’Brien, an All-Region 2 First Team player as a senior, is joining Delaware as a preferred walk-on.

O’Brien will be a graduate transfer and will pursue a Masters in economics and data analysis.

“I’m most looking forward to challenging myself and playing against better competition,” he said.

A pass-catching force in the Division III Presidents’ Athletic Conference, he set single-season school records with 91 receptions for 1,228 yards. He ranked third in the nation in receptions per game (9.1) and averaged 122.8 yards a game.

He also set single-game marks with 18 catches for 233 yards against Washington & Jefferson. He had a 95-yard touchdown catch against Case Western.

In three seasons, O’Brien had 182 receptions for 2,539 yards and 22 touchdowns.

O’Brien said the possibility of regret later on helped him decide to play on more year. A fifth year of college remains one of the true positives from the covid pandemic.

“Yeah, that was definitely part of it,” he said. “I also just figured it would be smart to get a Masters degree while I’m still able to play.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


More Football

WPIAL rules Aliquippa rising junior ineligible following transfer from North Hills
Riverview football standout Carlo Buzzatto excited to compete on global stage
Terrelle Pryor, Dick Hoak, Joe Mucci to enter National High School Football Hall of Fame
Belle Vernon seniors celebrate back-to-back WPIAL, PIAA football titles
Ligonier Valley, Latrobe, Jeannette coaches eager for East/West All-Star game