football

Lots of offers, no leaders for Neal

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Defensive end Lewis Neal of Wilson (N.C.) Hunt is getting plenty of attention from colleges these days.
"All the schools are always messaging me on Facebook to see how I'm doing," Neal said. "And I'm making phone calls to them just about every day. It's crazy right now."
The 6-feet-2, 235-pound Neal has 10 offers, and many have come from BCS-AQ conference teams. At this stage, nobody stands out, according to Neal.
"I'm not ready for that right now," he said. "I've still got visits. I can break down every school. I can do that. But I don't have a leader."
Thus far, Neal has been to Alabama, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech. His trip to Tuscaloosa came last summer for camp.
"I like every school I've been to," he said. "Every school has its ups and downs. At the camp I went to at Alabama, I liked the atmosphere. When I went to Virginia Tech, it was for the Miami game. That was crazy. No game got louder than that. At State, they have a good family [environment]."
What's next?
"I'm going to East Carolina this week, then South Carolina the week after," Neal said. "On April 14, I'm going to Clemson. For Ohio State, it's looking like April 21. I'm also going to Tennessee sometime after Ohio State."
A top five might not be far down the road.
"It might come after my visit to Tennessee," Neal said. "When I get done with that, with all my visits, I'll probably have my top five. I'm trying to commit coming into the season. If that doesn't work, I might commit at a bowl game if I play in one. But I'd like to do it before the season so I can have a fresh mind."
Neal, who predicted Alabama, Oregon or Virginia Tech could be next to offer, said the position he plays in college will depend on the scheme of the school his picks. In the 4-3, he'd play end. In the 3-4, he likely would be "that hybrid guy," he said.
According to Neal, he is comfortable in either situation.
"I like chasing the quarterback," Neal said. "I like my hand on the ground. I feel I get more explosion that way. But when it comes to covering, I can do that, too. I'm a very versatile player. I'm confident enough I can do both."
Keith Niebuhr can be reached at Keithrivals@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.
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