3 things to know about FSU's Nick O'Leary, tight end and survivor (and grandson)


Could he be an unexpected difference-maker against Auburn? And, yes, he's related to Jack Nicklaus, as you'll surely hear Monday night.

1. Don't let the stats fool you.

Nick O'Leary's statistics this year seem rather pedestrian -- he totaled 33 catches for 557 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, topping 60 yards just once. In over a third of FSU's games -- five of 13 -- he finished with fewer than 20 yards receiving. However, it would be a mistake to discount him as a threat for Monday night's BCS Championship Game. Indeed, the famously gloveless wonder could come back to burn Auburn if ignored.

Numbers are not the best way to measure his impact, really, as the Seminoles spread the ball around to all of their receivers. Rashad Greene, Kelvin Benjamin and Kenny Shaw all recorded more than 50 catches this year, and four players, including quarterback Jameis Winston, carried at least 70 times. Combine this with the fact that Florida State regularly sat its starters in the second half and it is very easy to understand O'Leary's seeming lack of production this season.

His talent in both the receiving and blocking game is apparent, and the Tigers would do well to respect it.

SB Nation's Mocking The Draft has O'Leary as the 8th-ranked tight end in the 2014 class, and 5th among underclassmen.

2. O'Leary survived a terrible motorcycle crash earlier this offseason.

It is kind of a wonder that O'Leary is even playing right now. In a report originally published by SB Nation's Tomahawk Nation, his motorcycle can be seen colliding with an oncoming car in early May. O'Leary flew close to 100 feet after the collision, barely avoiding a parked bus.

Somehow, he was able to walk away from the scene of the accident and was only treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

3. He has some famous roots.

File this under the oft-repeated -- O'Leary's grandfather is legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus and the grandson is no slouch on the links himself, regularly shooting in the mid-70s. It's been mentioned in almost every Florida State broadcast so far this season. He was also a coveted lacrosse prospect out of high school.

The 6'3 junior is currently contemplating his draft prospects, but if he decides to head to the NFL, you can be sure that the Nicklaus tidbit will soon join well known gridiron facts like "Antonio Gates used to play basketball," "Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard," and "Brock Osweiler is 6'8."

More from SB Nation college football:

How FSU and Auburn were built: Why recruiting matters so much

Goodbye to the BCS (which dies tonight)

College football news | Strong to Texas: 10 possible Louisville candidates

Long CFB reads | The death of a college football player

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