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Brian Kelly Pulls Recuiting Coup and Rabbit Out of Hat
Well apparently the Notre Dame Football recruiting class of 2012 and the graduating class of 2016 is finally in the bag.
Coach Brian Kelly for the second year in a row has pulled the recruiting rabbit out of his ND baseball cap. This year it is Davonte Neal, the top rated athlete in the nation. This guy can play wide receiver, cornerback, and is a return specialist. Goodness we can sure use a return specialist.
High light reel here.
Neal was a no-show for his televised announcement this morning at his old elementary school. This got heads scratching and I’m sure it will all come out eventually. Read it here.
Here’s hoping he does not get homesick or have a change of heart.
Welcome aboard Mr. Neal.
Neal Says ND
In the end, Davonte Neal proved to be worth the wait…at least for Notre Dame.
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete from Scottsdale, Ariz., just signed his National Letter of Intent with the Irish, almost three weeks after National Signing Day for the 2012 class. But Neal, who made the announcement from his former elementary school, was operating on his own timetable from start to finish.
He didn't arrive at a press conference scheduled on Tuesday morning before returning a few hours later to make the decision.
The receiver/defensive back refused to seriously consider his multitude of options until after completing his senior season by leading Chaparral High School to its third straight state championship. As soon as that goal was accomplished, Notre Dame assistant Kerry Cooks was in Neal’s living room and South Bend was Neal’s first official visit.
He also took official visits to Arkansas and North Carolina and chose the Irish over a final four that included the Razorbacks, Tar Heels and in-state Arizona.
Neal completes a 17-man 2012 recruiting class for Notre Dame and will surely help cushion the signing-day blow that came in the form of California wide receiver Deontay Greenberry spurning the Irish to sign with Houston in the final stages of the process.
Notre Dame hasn’t told Neal exactly where he’ll play, but it’s clear a player of his caliber has the potential to help in all three phases. The consensus four-star prospect with 4.4-speed could play slot receiver or defensive back and could definitely have an impact in the return game.
Irish Sports Daily’s Bryan Driskell called Neal, “one of the most dynamic and versatile players in the country.”
As a senior, Neal rushed for 1,317 yards and added another 1,113 as a receiver while scoring 35 total touchdowns. In the state championship game, he had 220 yards rushing, 107 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns.
“He dominates as a wide receiver, out of the backfield on offense, as a lockdown cornerback, and as a dangerous and explosive return man,” added Driskell. “Neal is a dynamic athlete, especially with the ball in his hands. He possesses outstanding agility and quickness, possessing the ability to make sudden moves that embarrass defensive players in space.
“Out of the backfield he has excellent suddenness and does a great job attacking north-south after his first cut. When he gets to the second level, he is difficult to bring down. Neal is also a strong player for his size and possesses the ability to break arm tackles. His balance and quickness also allows him to bounce off tacklers in space, making him extremely difficult to bring down with just one defender.
“As a receiver, Neal shows excellent hands and ball skills. He also has tremendous leaping ability and timing, something that allows him to overcome his lack of height. His quickness and instincts should allow him to develop into a dynamic route runner in the slot at the next level. His suddenness and strength makes him hard to jam off the line.”
Neal’s speed and athleticism also help him at corner.
“Neal has excellent quickness and fluid hips on the defensive side of the ball,” said Driskell. “He does a good job reading receivers and getting a jump on the football. Despite his lack of size he does a nice job coming up and form tackling.”
During the process, Neal also gathered scholarship offers from schools like Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Miami, Penn State and Washington among several others.
Him and Gunner will make great roomies.
Does anyone really think Davonte Neal has a chance of being better than the Detroit Lions tandem duo of Antonio Pettigrew and Austin Pettis?
He was just video interviewed and said it was between Arkansas and ND. The Arizona media that surrounded this whole event has fabricated the Arizona interest in order to create buzz surrounding the event. The family just lost their cousin who passed away after being hit by a car, and who Davonte was close with. The pressure of the day and sudden loss of the cousin probably reached a tipping point
2012 recruits making bad headlines. . . .
Notre Dame Exposed! Brian Kelly's sideline blowup this year is nothing compared to what he's going to do when he reads this! On Ja
I just have to ask, and I am not saying that these tweets are not false, and if they are true it is shameful and sickening, but why haven't seen it on other sports websites?
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