A Corkman with some very famous GAA roots has earned an incredible opportunity in the NFL 5 years ago

A Corkman with some very famous GAA roots has earned an incredible opportunity in the NFL

Darragh O’Neill has the chance of a lifetime.

We've frequently heard anecdotes and insights about how playing GAA can help improve an athletes skills in different sports but Corkman Darragh O’Neill looks set to be creating his own piece of sporting history.

For the last four years, Darragh has been a kicker at the Colorado Buffaloes but his career could be about to go into the stratosphere after he was recently invited to join the Detroit Lions' mini-camp with a view to earning a professional contract at the NFL side.

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 25:  Place kicker Will Oliver #28 of the Colorado Buffaloes is congratulated by holder Darragh O'Neill #8 after kicking the game typing field goal during the fourth quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Folsom Field on October 25, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado. The Bruins defeated the Buffaloes 40-37 in double overtime. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Darragh's father Colm O'Neill is already well known in the rebel county having been an integral member of the side that won the All-Ireland in 1989 and 1990.

Since hanging up his boots, Colm has moved to the US and it seems that his son is carrying on the families strong sporting legacy, Darragh is also the nephew of Kerry icon and legend Maurice Fitzgerald.

Maurice Fitzgerald 7/10/2000

What's even more impressive is that the kicker only took up playing American Football five years ago but his rise has been seriously impressive so far.

In this short time, he has earned a starting place and a scholarship with the Colorado Buffaloes and has since become the teams all-time leader in punts (281), punting yards (12,001), punts inside-the-20 (95) and punts inside-the-10 (34).

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 29:  Punter Darragh O'Neill #8 of the Colorado Buffaloes tackles running back Steven Manfro #33 of the UCLA Bruins on a punt return at Folsom Field on September 29, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. UCLA defeated Colorado 42-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Speaking with the club website he said, “Obviously I’m just really glad that somebody was willing to give me a chance. It’s just rookie mini-camp this weekend, hopefully it turns into a contract, but we’ll see, we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Here's hoping that Darragh seizes this well earned opportunity and impresses the Detroit Lions coaching team.

Regardless of the outcome, he's already making very impressive progress in an incredibly tough sport. Fair play to him.