Davonte Neal: How His Signing Would Put Rich Rodriguez Back on the Map

Randy ChambersAnalyst IFebruary 16, 2012

We now have an official date when the last top remaining prospect will make his decision. Most top recruits made their decision on National Signing Day, but a few still had a bit more thinking to do before they signed on the dotted line.

Davonte Neal, a 4-star wide receiver and cornerback, will make his decision on February 21st and make a huge impact on whichever team he decides to go to. 

“He pretty much got his school,” said Neal’s father, Luke. “He came up with it last night, but he’s locked and loaded right now and will announce it the 21st.”

Neal had a list that included nearly every top school in the country, but only North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas and Notre Dame are in the mix now. All are great schools and each of them have something special to offer him, but becoming a member of the Wildcats family will really put this program and new head coach Rich Rodriguez back on the map. 

"Arizona is really interesting because Robert (Anae) and I, the offensive line coach, him and I coached at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) together in Rexburg, Idaho, so we built a relationship there," Luke Neal said. "UofA told him he can play offense and return (kicks) and also play some defense as well."

Rodriguez hasn't coached since 2010 and his days at Michigan. He really hurt his reputation after three horrible years at the university (15-22 record) and breaking NCAA rules. Giving him a player like Neal would help Arizona win much quicker, which would also put the head coach back on the map in a good way.

Head coach Rodriguez runs a very effective spread offense. This requires as many athletes and play-makers you can find and that's exactly what Neal is. He's not your biggest player at 5'9", 175 pounds, but he's extremely quick and a threat to score every time the ball is in his hands. Get him in the open field and there's a great chance he's going to the end zone.

The offenses that Rodriguez runs are usually run first, but with a great wide receiver option on his team, it will make the offense that more scarier. It would force the defense to have to play the pass as well, knowing that there is a threat at the wide receiver position.

The potential is endless with Neal's athletic ability and Rodriguez is the right guy to help coach him and utilize him in every way possible.

Rodriguez may not have the best reputation in college football, but the guy can coach and giving him a player like Neal will do wonders for his new team. Just like Pat White did with his time in West Virginia and Denard Robinson did during his Michigan days. 

Landing Neal would be the first step in repairing the head coach's reputation.

Randy Chambers is a B/R featured columnist that covers college football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com.