Davonte Neal: All Signs Point to Star Receiver Recruit Picking Notre Dame

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2012

Photo via ESPN.com
Photo via ESPN.com

National signing day may have been almost three weeks ago, but there are still recruits waiting until the very end to pick their school of choice. For Notre Dame, it looks like it's better late than never.

Star wide receiver Davonte Neal from Chaparral High in Scottsdale, AZ has been very tight-lipped about his decision ever since his senior season ended last fall.

The four candidates for the receiver/cornerback/returner are Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina and Notre Dame, with his decision coming on Tuesday morning.

So why would Neal pick South Bend over a school in his home state? The National Football Post’s Dion Caputi has sources close to the situation that claim it “sounds for sure” that he will be heading to Notre Dame.

According to nbcsports.com, the Fighting Irish have done a terrific job recruiting his family. When Neal went for his official visit, his father was with him the whole time. The sentiments coming from both his mom and dad sound like two parents who have been convinced.

With the departure of Michael Floyd, there is a gaping hole at wide receiver, and Neal would likely be competing for a starting spot from Day 1. Sure, the QB situation his freshman year will be an adventure, but with Gunner Kiel now in the fold, they have their signal-caller of the future.

Brian Kelly and Co. had a weak signing day back on Feb. 1 and currently are ranked 10th, according to ESPNU, with five top-150 recruits. It’s solid, but if the Irish ever want to reach another BCS bowl, they have to have explosive talent that can affect multiple facets of the team.

Neal runs a 4.4 40 and is the 107th-ranked prospect, according to rivals.com. Tuesday morning’s decision will likely come down to Notre Dame, the team that has all of their games televised on national TV, or a team in Arizona that has a new coach in Rich Rodriguez and seem to be in a state of transition under the new regime.

Notre Dame isn’t far away, but they aren’t there yet. Snagging Neal would be the last big win in a pretty successful offseason. Things are looking up in South Bend.  


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