Jack Nicklaus’ grandson is a major prospect with UGA ties

Jack Nicklaus, considered the greatest golfer in history, has 21 grandchildren. One of them, as it turns out, is a major college prospect in football. And Georgia may have an inside track in his recruitment.

Nick O’Leary is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior tight end at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. His parents are both UGA alums and athletes. O’Leary’s mother, the former Nan Nicklaus, played volleyball at Georgia in the early 1980s, lettering in 1983. His father, Bill O’Leary, lettered in football at Georgia in 1984-85.

Nick  was the subject of a recent story written by Rivals.com (subscription required) high school writer Adam Gorney.

Bill O’Leary’s college career never really lifted off at Georgia, according to longtime UGA sports communications director Claude Felton. He remembers him as a nice young man, red-headed, somewhat  injury-prone and, of course, that “he dated Jack Nickaus’ daughter.”

Georgia records show that the elder O’Leary was a star running back at Cardinal Mooney High School in Sarasota, Fla., where he was a two-time all-state player rushed for 2,568 yards and 38 TDs. He walked on with the Bulldogs in the early 1980s and began his career as a linebacker. After encoutering knee and ankle injuries he moved to defensive end, then finished his career as the Bulldogs’ No. 2 tight end behind Troy Sadowski. There is no record of him having caught a pass, however.

Nick O’Leary had 27 catches for 522 yards and six TDs as a sophomore for Dwyer last season. His team is 1-1 so far this year.

“Nick is such a natural (athlete),” his grandfather told Rivals.com. “From the time that kid was 5-6 years old,  if they put him in the outfield in baseball, at the crack of the bat he would be on it. You don’t teach somebody that. In football, if he can touch it, he catches it. If the ball is in the air, he’s going to be the first one there.”

So far O’Leary has received only “correspondences” from Georgia. But if the Bulldogs decide to pursue him they will encounter considerable competition. His Rivals.com recruiting profile shows him with offers from Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Miami, Boston College and West Virginia and he’s drawing interest from dozens of others.

“From a selfish standpoint, Florida would be great because it’s close,” the granddad Nicklaus told Rivals. “He wouldn’t have to live up to his father or me. Ohio State would be great because I’d love to see him go there. Georgia would be great because of his father. It really doesn’t make a difference to me.”

25 comments Add your comment

Saban for President in 2012!

September 16th, 2009
8:33 am

if he want’s to win a National Championship he better go to UF or to BAMA. I don’t care what anybody says–that’s just a fact.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

September 16th, 2009
8:51 am

Saban for prez, try winning the SEC or beating Utah (Utah?) and get back with us on how great Bama is. It’s doubtful your elephants will win the west this year, and if they do, they won’t get out of Atl alive

Dawg Lover

September 16th, 2009
8:52 am

“if he want’s to win a National Championship he better go to UF or to BAMA. I don’t care what anybody says–that’s just a fact.”

Coach Richt teaches more than winning championships, which Saban “your President”, has yet to do at AlerBamer! Even this kid knows that. Champioships are coming Ga’s way. Georgia hasn’t even offered, and they are still being mentioned as a contender. AlerBamer doesn’t even make the short list. Now, go back and read those free textbooks already. You need to prepare yourself for life, not get light-headed every time you hear the words “Coach Saban” uttered. No in fact, go get a life!

Brock D

September 16th, 2009
8:52 am

Saban for pres….You don’t care what anybody says and nobody cares what you say.


September 16th, 2009
9:09 am

Heck yea baby, We need a few more tight ends at UGA. This prospect looks like he is really close to the program too. Also, I’m sure Chip if you look deep enough his dad is realted to the former GT coach George O’Leary. So, with all that athletic blood in the family I’d say he would have to be a great player.Plus I think his grandfather (Jack) actually played golf in this stae a few times. I’m sure that he will say nice things about this state. And don’t forget, that the kid and his family will surely want to be coached by CMR.We need this kid. It should be a lock.

Tim Rupert

September 16th, 2009
9:13 am

Enter your comments here

General Feeling

September 16th, 2009
9:20 am

Saban and Obama: two peas in a pod. Both are big spenders when it comes to building thier dynasties. And both rely on an ignorant fan base.

Pit Bull

September 16th, 2009
9:24 am

Saban is already reportedly talking about a Pro contract with a part ownship deal. He won’t be at Bama long.

Dawg Fud

September 16th, 2009
9:29 am

I wish him luck wherever he goes. He is obviously talented.

Of course, it would be great to accompany your grandfather to the Masters every year…you know, being that Athens is not too far from Augusta! ha, ha


Tim Rupert

September 16th, 2009
9:30 am

SFP 2012. Must be nice to have such a short memory. When was the last time Ala won the SEC, MNC. You guys beat a way over rated UGA team one out of the last four and you are ready to win the MNC. Win one and then talk the smack. National Championship teams finish strong, losing the last two games and loosing to Utah, thats right UTAH won’t get Bama a MNC. It is funny reading some of this stuff from fans of teams who up until last year were just plain terrible GT, Bama, yall have one good year, if you call geting your buts handed to you in the biggest game of the year (bowl game) a good year and you are sure that you are ready for the NCG. Put together at least a couple of good years then you can act like you have been there and done that.


September 16th, 2009
9:41 am

If Richt doesn’t get control of his team soon———-the whispers that Georgia hears about them acting and playing like FSU, will get progressively louder. Richt has some in-house cleaning ahead.


September 16th, 2009
9:41 am

General Feeling, you just made my morning. Good one!

William Cranman

September 16th, 2009
10:04 am

Nice article Chip. Not to be picky but Jack Nicklaus is not the all time winningest professional golfer. That distinction belongs to Sam Snead. He is however the all time winningist professional as far as majors are concerned and of course most people think the greatest player ever.


September 16th, 2009
11:05 am

But the Nicklaus family has Tech ties….went to school with Mike. Sounds like the O’Leary family has UoG ties….


September 16th, 2009
11:14 am

If he wants to be on NCAA probation – go to BAMA!


September 16th, 2009
11:16 am

When it boils down to it, college football is about money and winning the National Championship. It is great to have a coach in Mark Richt who nurtures you men into better men, but he is hired to be a football coach and win big games. We are so far from winning a NC that it is a joke. The rest of these coaches turn out nice young me too and win NC’s. Why should we expect any different. I mean this team that we are putting on the field will struggle to win 6 or 7 games this year. Why should we be inferior to Florida or Alabama? Could it be our coaching. Everyone loves MR as a person but come on did you see how we played against S. Carolina. The defense would have trouble containing the best high school teams in america and the offense is suspect to say the least. I love Georgia but if I were the kid I’d go somewhere that I REALISTICALLY could win a championship. With Martinez at DC we’ll never have a championship D. NEVER….


September 16th, 2009
11:51 am

One of my college roommates had a sister who got a sholly to play Volleyball in the early eighties. She and Nan became friends. I would go watch the home games with my buddy and would sit next to the legend himself. Since I had seen him play at the National since I was a kid, it was not as big a deal for me to sit next to Jack. I never spoke about golf, never asked for an autograph, I already had them, and we just talked about the game. He was a big fan of Nan’s. It would be great if Nan and Bill’s son became a Dawg following in his parents footsteps but I will not hold my breath.

Sowega Dawg

September 16th, 2009
11:52 am

Off topic for a second-Is Caleb King related to Chipper Jones, being so injury prone and such?


September 16th, 2009
2:24 pm

His daughter was at UGA when I was there. Man, I’m old. First Butler’s kid. Now this. I better start taking my Geritol.

Mark Richt 1 notch below average coach

September 16th, 2009
8:35 pm

AHH Chip Towers, Bill King can’t get inside scoop on any College Sport. Got get his/their info from other web sites that’s a day or two old news.

It's great to be a Gator

September 16th, 2009
8:41 pm

If the kid wants a SEC Champ Ring and A National Champs Ring….go to Florida…Go to Georgia and win……nothing.


September 17th, 2009
12:33 am

General Feeling: It could not have been stated better than that!!
There is a slight difference, though. The Alabama fans know they hired the mercenary, Satan. They just don’t want to admit it. The Obama fans still have no idea.

AZ Jacket

September 17th, 2009
10:12 am

slooooooooooooooooow day. Who cares where he goes?


September 17th, 2009
7:50 pm

General Feeling: get back to your “the south will rise again” hollers and stay away from politics. you’re an ignorant redneck

[...] the blog I wrote about Jack Nicklaus‘ grandson, Nick O’Leary, a rising tight end prospect down in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.? Well he finally got a scholarship offer from Georgia, where his father Bill O’Leary played [...]