O'Connor, a senior from St. Rita's High School in Illinois, chose UNC over Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and Michigan. O'Connor is the seventh overall recruit for the Class of 2017. Jaime Hernandez checks in as No. 61 overall for the class of 2017. Hernandez chose UNC over Purdue, Virginia, Minnesota, Old Dominion, South Dakota State and Illinois.
O'Connor is three-time Illinois state champion, a 2015 Fargo champion and a Super 32 runner-up. Hernandez is a former Fargo finalist from national power Oak Park and River Forest High School.
"I made this decision because of the beautiful campus, the great academics, and the unbelievable coaching staff," Hernandez said. "I think the staff will help me reach my goals in both freestyle and folkstyle." Hernandez went on to say he plans on wrestling at either 133 or 141, and intends to redshirt next year.
O'Connor also shed some light on why UNC was the place for him: "The coaching staff they just brought in with Kenny Monday, Tony Ramos, Josh Kindig, Neil Erisman and Coleman Scott. They're all from different places for the most part. Ramos is from Iowa, Kindig, Erisman and Coleman are from Oklahoma State and Bryce Hasseman is from NIU and Buffalo. You get different feels from all of those colleges. I liked everyone on the team and it's one of the nicest campuses I've ever been to, and the academics are incredible."
O'Connor plans on redshirting initially and beginning his career at 149 pounds, but anticipates eventually moving up to 157.
The staff at UNC has undergone some outstanding additions lately. Tony Ramos was added to staff this summer after leaving Iowa. The Tar Heel Wrestling Club also recently brought on Olympic champion Kenny Monday to be their head coach. This is in addition to a staff that already featured Coleman Scott, Neil Erisman, and Bryce Hasseman. Josh Kindig and Braden Atwood are also members of the Tar Heel Wrestling Club.
Hernandez and O'Connor will be on the mat before their regular season schedules begin. Hernandez is wrestling at Night of Conflict as well as Agony in Ames. We'll also see O'Connor at 145 at Super 32, and he will wrestle against Jarod Verkleeren at Agony in Ames.
Watch O'Connor's Fargo finals win over Austin Hiles at Junior Duals:
Jaime Hernandez downs Ohio hammer Corey Shie at Junior Duals: