Davonte Neal is one of the top recruits in the country. Considered an 'athlete' because of his ability to play multiple positions, the Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Chaparral star is rated four stars by most of the major recruiting services. And his stock is on the rise. Neal is 5'10" and weighs in at 170 pounds. He's lightning quick and plenty fast. And his senior highlight tape shows why more than 25 schools saw fit to offer him.
Because of all the coaching changes going on in his area of the country, Neal delayed some of his recruiting visits. He'll be taking official visits long after National Signing Day (February 1st). Neal will choose from a lineup of Notre Dame, Ohio State, Arkansas, North Carolina and Arizona.
Neal took his first visit to Notre Dame back on December 9th. And the Irish coaches recently flew to Arizona to see him. They took a private jet and then rented a black Cadillac Escalade.
Neal grew up in Ohio and originally rooted for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He visited Columbus on January 13th. And like the Notre Dame group, the Buckeye coaches also visited Neal over the weekend. No word on their mode of transportation, however. Ohio State insiders are confident in their chances of securing Neal.
But Arizona is also charging hard down the stretch. The Wildcats hired Neal's high school coach, and because of that, they now have a shot. Neal cited his coach now working for Arizona as a reason he will consider the Wildcats. Neal plans to visit Arizona on February 10th.
"We had a home visit with Arizona Wednesday afternoon and it went very well," Neal's father Luke said. "Rich Rod [Rodriguez], Robert Anae and Tony Dews all came together and were really blown away. Robert and I coached together at Rexburg (Idaho) Ricks junior college back in the early 90s and we've been close ever since.
"I always said if Robert was at Arizona, we would give them a look, because I know he would look after Davonte, but I honestly didn't expect much to come from the home visit. Coach Rod was very impressive, and Davonte liked him a lot. He's a good guy, a family guy and a good football coach. He's intense and personable but also has a way of making you feel comfortable around him.
Neal has also visited Arkansas, and may visit North Carolina. Insiders do not consider the Hogs and Tar Heels as serious players for his commitment.