Vols rising for McNeil

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- One Southeastern Conference program has moved into the top three for Rivals100 safety Michael McNeil of Mobile (Ala.) Davidson while another has moved out.
Tennessee is now in the top three for the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder, who took an official visit to Rocky Top on the weekend of Dec. 15.
"Right now, my top three schools would be Florida State, Auburn and Tennessee," McNeil said. "I had a real good visit when I went down to Tennessee and got to see where I would fit into their scheme.
"I got the chance to watch them practice and watch my position and how I can contribute early there. I also got the chance to eat at coach Phillip Fulmer's house and he's a real good guy. I gained about eight pounds on my visit."
McNeil has official visits scheduled for Auburn (Jan. 12) and Florida State (Jan. 19).
"I may take one more visit (after Auburn and FSU), I am not sure who yet. I figure I may have a chance to check out another school just to see what they are all about."
Alabama used to be in McNeil's top three, but a lack of communication from the Tide coaching staff during the program's current coaching transition has hurt Bama's chances.
"I haven't talked to Alabama in a while," McNeil said. "Coach Buddy Wyatt took a job in Nebraska, so I haven't heard anything from them in a while. Auburn stays in contact, Tennessee stays in contact, Florida State stays in contact, but not Alabama."
McNeil will make a final decision a couple of weeks before National Signing Day (Feb. 7) and currently has no favorite among his top three.
"I have to wait and take these official visits," he said.
McNeil currently is in Fort Lauderdale preparing to play for the East squad in the inaugural Offense-Defense All-American Bowl (7 p.m. Thursday, ESPNU).
"I look forward to testing out the new helmet," he said. "There are a lot of great athletes here and a lot of different personalities. I am just looking forward to going out there and helping the East team get a victory.
"I look forward to (playing for the Hoover (Ala.) High coaching staff)."
McNeil is the nation's fifth-ranked safety prospect and a high (6.0) four-star rated prospect according to