Nansemond River senior Colin O’Brien signs commitment papers on Tuesday at Nansemond River High School to begin playing college baseball with Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

O’Brien signs baseball scholarship

Published 8:56pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nansemond River High School senior first baseman Colin O’Brien signed a commitment to begin his college career playing baseball at Potomac State College of West Virginia University on Tuesday.

“It feels good, it feels special,” O’Brien said of the occasion.

His parents, Patrick and Nadine O’Brien, were on hand, along with the Warriors’ coaching staff, to see him sign with the two-year junior college located in Keyser, W.Va.

“It’s been a long road,” Patrick O’Brien said. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

O’Brien’s dad explained how the school selection process worked.

“Right before Christmas, we went on a little road trip and visited some colleges in Pennsylvania, then we came down through West Virginia and hit a couple schools on the way back,” he said. “He liked the country atmosphere up there in Keyser, W.Va.”

Colin O’Brien detailed the important role NR head coach Mark Stuffel played in his signing with the program led by PSC head coach Doug Little.

“Coach Stuffel had been talking to them about me, and then I got in contact with (Little), and then we had a little workout when I went up for my visit too, and then they saw me and they gave me an offer after the workout,” O’Brien said.

“I committed right then and there, because I liked it so much,” he said. “Nice campus up there; they’ve got a good program.”

While he is there, he will pursue an associate degree, though he is not yet sure what major he will choose.

Stuffel was not surprised to see a school pick up O’Brien.

“I knew he’d be playing somewhere,” he said.

Stuffel said PSC has signed a big hitter in O’Brien.

“He can hit, he can swing it,” Stuffel said. “He’s pretty good on the mound, but his strength is definitely hitting. He brings a lot of pop.”

O’Brien said he has been working toward this day since he was very young. He had moved quite a bit before he had even reached the age of 5. He began playing when he was 2, living in Okinawa, where his father was stationed in the Marine Corps.

“He was born in, actually, Pennsylvania, we moved to Georgia and then we moved to Okinawa,” Patrick O’Brien said.

His son’s first taste of organized play came in Virginia when he was 4, through T-ball with Bennett’s Creek Little League. He also played football in ninth and 10th grades when he attended Greenbrier Christian Academy, but he decided to concentrate on baseball when he transferred to NR as a junior.

After helping the Warriors reach the state playoffs last season, O’Brien still has a major high school baseball goal in mind as spring approaches.

“Get back to state and get further than we did last year,” he said.

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