Bryan senior Connor Arthur did a lot for the Bryan athletics scene throughout the last four years.
As a three-year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball, Arthur was always making an impact and leading his teammates, and it didn’t matter what sport or team he was suiting up for.
But if he had to pick, he said his favorite sport would have to be football, and with his recent commitment to continue his career at Trine University — an NCAA Division III school in Angola, Indiana — Arthur will have four more years to compete on the gridiron.
Arthur had some familiarity with Trine prior to considering the school. His brother, Colt — a 2017 Bryan grad — will be a senior wide receiver for the Thunder this fall, and Connor has visited the campus several times over the years to attend his brother’s football games.
In fact, it was a campus tour given by his brother last fall which partially swayed his decision.
“(Colt) is obviously psyched that I’m going there,” Connor said. “It’s exciting to get to play a sport in high school with your brother, let alone in college, but he said, ‘Connor, I’d love if you’d come to Trine, but you need to do what’s right for you, and what you feel is home.’ ... He was a big influence, but at the same time, he let me pick my own path.”
As Connor came to know the program and the coaches at Trine, though, he knew it was the school for him.
“As I thought about it more and as time went on, I thought Trine has great coaches,” he said. “Their coaches are awesome, and the coach who recruited me stays in contact. He calls me once or twice a week, so ultimately I just thought I’d be able to have a good football career, but I also think it will help me as a person to be around awesome people every day.”
Connor was an all-around playmaker throughout his high school football career, and he capped things off in a big way during his senior year.
On offense, he led the Bryan receiving corps with 50 receptions for 702 yards and a school record 14 touchdowns, while as a defensive back, he finished the year with 42 tackles, one forced fumble, four interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
He also made an impact in the return game, which made for one of Bryan football coach Grant Redhead’s favorite memories of Connor’s football career.
Bryan was locked in a close battle with Northwest Ohio Athletic League foe Liberty Center, and as Redhead remembers it, an exasperated Connor — who rarely came off the field last fall — approached Redhead asking to sit out a kick return to rest for offense.
Redhead wasn’t having any of it, though. He knew Connor had more in him, and in no uncertain terms, told Connor to get back on the field.
All Connor did was return the kick for a touchdown — a key play in helping the Bears to a colossal 35-30 upset victory over the state-ranked Tigers.
Redhead said he gave Connor a hard time when he returned to the sideline, but it was a moment Redhead believes Connor finally realized what he was capable of, and it’s a sign he can succeed at the next level.
“I was really proud of him this year and last year,” Redhead said. “At first he was kind of timid, wasn’t real physical, but he really grew up as a football player and really started to become a leader and do things right. It’s such a neat thing when you see these kids from the time they’re in junior high all the way until the time they’re in high school.”
As versatile as he is, Connor says he’ll head to campus this fall primarily with an athlete classification and the goal of getting on the field in whatever way possible.
In the classroom, Connor plans on studying business and sports management.