UBC's Blissful Campus Culture Lures Top US College Quarterback to Its Football Program


A celebrated US NCAA football quarterback has had a change of heart. The Penn State star recruit was invited to tour the UBC campus and instantly fell in love.

Soon, Michael O’Connor will don the blue and gold uniforms of the UBC Thunderbirds and hopefully reinvigorate what used to be one of the top football programs in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport conference. His commitment is anticipated to bring more attention to UBC’s sport program and elevate the level of university pride to new heights.

This unexpected decision could have happy consequences for UBC area homeowners and property investors. The hype surrounding successful college football programs frequently correlates with a rise in prestige for universities and a greater demand for properties close to campus. As more people in Canada, America and around the world take notice of UBC’s football talent, the desirability of UBC real estate could easily increase.


Why O’Connor Came Back to Canada

A young, talented player transferring from one of the top college football programs in the US to attend a Canadian University is not your average headline, but then again Michael O’Connor is not your average football player. The 19 year old Ottawa native, whom his teammates portray as “very articulate, very mature and knows what he wants,” was ESPN’s number six high school quarterback pick in the country. He attended the prestigious John Madden program at IMG Academy in Florida, described by recruiting stats compiler MaxPreps as “the nation’s top high school football facility.”

After being drafted to Penn State, O’Connor quickly realized he did not quite fit in. His “redshirt” freshman season meant that he had to sit on the sidelines during games and practice doubly hard during the week, which makes him eligible for a five rather than a four year college football career. During this time O’Connor evidently had a lot of time to think.

“It’s just a different culture in Canada,” explained UBC head coach Blake Nill. “So for Michael to sort of see through the trees and realize that he can be satisfied with an athletic career here in Canada [...]and most importantly to see what a UBC education can do for him beyond his playing years, is a really mature outlook.”

O’Connor echoed this sentiment succinctly, saying, “It was a win-win.”


The Allure of Vancouver

When weighing his decision to transfer, UBC’s football program and future athletic prospects were not the only thing on O’Connor’s mind. “Another big factor was Vancouver,” he says. “It’s a big town, and I’ll be able to set myself up for a life after football.”

O’Connor will pursue a real estate degree from UBC’s lauded Sauder School of Business. His love of UBC, Vancouver and optimism towards the real estate industry are qualities shared by all area residents.

If you are considering being a part of this warm, contented community, you can view available area properties by looking at our UBC home listings.

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