Michael O’Neill has the three C’s that make up an admirable athlete.

The sophomore right fielder earned his second-straight Big Ten Player of the Week title on Monday. He split the first award with Purdue’s Eric Charles, but this time around, he isn’t sharing the spotlight.

O’Neill feels honored but no different from last week. He takes into account that he is in contention with everyone in the conference, and that’s what makes the award special to him.

1. Competition

He currently leads the Big Ten with 16 RBI, eight doubles and five home runs, while claiming the No. 1 spot in the nation with 47 total bases. But without his perpetual edge to win and excel, the Wolverines would most likely have a void in the lineup.

Because of O’Neill’s production, Michigan boasts a lead in the conference with 72 RBIs, 25 doubles and 10 home runs.

And even when the team falls into a slump, O’Neill remains a force to be reckoned with. He put up impressive numbers last year, even as the Wolverines dropped to a last-place finish in the conference.

At the end of his rookie season, O’Neill was unanimously selected to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team based on his excellent performance and 30 stolen bases, which led the conference.

But O’Neill is not only competitive against opposing teams — he challenges his teammates and himself on a day-to-day basis.

At Meet the Wolverines Night, O’Neill mentioned his offseason efforts and his need to improve on hitting curve balls and off-speed pitches.

That motivation drove him to pursue the smart, forceful at-bats he’s displayed in the season thus far.

“The biggest thing is … to hit the pitch I want to hit, instead of hitting the pitch the pitcher wants me to hit,” O’Neill said.

2. Confidence

O’Neill has confidence in his team and receives respect in return. He’s building on a 10-game hit streak with a .480 batting average, just 0.001 below Big Ten’s leader, Joe Ciamacco of Ohio State.

O’Neill picked up right where he left off last year. In the opener this season against Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, he hit a third-inning home run. And from that point on, he’s had continuous success.

How is it that O’Neill is capable of putting up numbers with ease?

It’s all about perspective. He spoke about his accomplishments and conference honor with a mixture of modesty and assurance. A friend asked O’Neill if the ball looks like a beach ball being pitched his way and he concurred.

“When you’re playing with confidence, you’re a different player,” said Michigan coach Rich Maloney. “That’s a special confidence he has.”

3. Consistency

Maloney drew a flat line through the air with his hand to demonstrate the plateau of consistency.

But O’Neill’s career would be better represented as a slope. He is steadily improving while remaining reliable at bat, on base and in the outfield. Time and time again, he shows dependability.

O’Neill hit home runs in three consecutive games, starting with a first-inning bomb over left field at Florida Gulf Coast. Then, after a loss to the Buckeyes, Michigan dominated in a 17-8 win over Chicago State, where O’Neill went 3-for-5 with four runs and four RBI.

Maloney likes to call it “good fundamental baseball.” And O’Neill continues to impress Michigan’s 10th-year head coach with every crack of the bat.

Competition, confidence and consistency are the three characteristics that led O’Neill to be named the Big Ten Player of the Week, again.

“Nobody else deserves it but him,” said freshman left fielder Will Drake. “It’s great to see him succeeding.”

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