South Fayette lineman Ryan O’Hair chooses Miami (Ohio)

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Monday, November 9, 2020 | 8:21 PM


Ryan O’Hair received his 13th Division I offer last Wednesday from Miami (Ohio).

On Monday evening, the 6-foot-8, 293-pound senior lineman from South Fayette made the Red Hawks his choice.

O’Hair announced his verbal commitment on Twitter just a few minutes after informing a small gathering of family and friends of his future athletic and academic home.

“It was between Miami and another school, and it just came down to the relationship I have developed with the coaches,” said O’Hair, who paid a visit to the Oxford, Ohio, campus in January prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

O’Hair said his relationship with the Red Hawks program only grew stronger over the past 10 months.

“I just knew that Miami was such a good fit for me and my family,” O’Hair said. “We’re all very excited.”

O’Hair said he made his decision Friday and keeping the news under wraps the past couple of days was challenging.

“I am so bad at secrets, and this was no different,” O’Hair said. “I was really surprised I kept it in. I told my parents and my grandma. That was it before (Monday). This was the biggest decision of my life. I was so proud of it and so anxious to let everyone know about it. This whole recruiting process has been a long journey, and it’s come full circle. All my hard work and all of the support from so many people has paid off.”

O’Hair’s decision came after consideration of other schools such as Tulane and FCS schools Duquesne, St. Francis, Georgetown and Fordham.

He now will wait until Dec. 16, the first day of the early signing period for Division I football, to set his decision in stone.

O’Hair helped South Fayette earn a spot in the WPIAL playoffs after a 4-3 regular season and a 3-2 mark in the Allegheny Six Conference in the team’s first season after a move up to Class 5A.

The Lions’ season ended Oct. 30 with a 47-7 quarterfinal loss to No. 1 Pine-Richland.

O’Hair, a first-year starter along the offensive line this fall, said he was grateful to have this season, not only for the opportunity to play one more time with his friends and teammates but also for the opportunity to get more exposure in front of college coaches.

“Just getting the chance to play was a blessing,” O’Hair said. “Especially the seniors, we just wanted to play football. I wouldn’t have wanted to play the season with anyone but my band of brothers. I was so proud of the way we played. We came out and competed every week. We gave it our all, and it was one heck of a ride.”

South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said that despite not starting a game before the 2020 season, O’Hair’s work ethic and leadership abilities earned him the honor of being named a team captain.

“His teammates really bought into the kind of person his family raised,” Rossi said.

O’Hair grew two inches and put on 70 pounds from the end of his junior season with the hopes of making his mark in the trenches for South Fayette.

“It was a lot of hard work and determination from last year,” Rossi said. “He was tall and lanky, but he ate well, worked out all the time and made a total sacrifice to the game of football. He went from a JV player, subbing in for some guys, to becoming a really good offensive lineman and now a Division I football player. (Miami) is going to get a young man who will work very hard to grow and make an impact.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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