Blog Entry

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Posted on: February 21, 2012 3:43 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:18 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

You can finally close the book on the class of 2012.

The country's lone remaining uncommitted top 100 recruit, Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal, ended all of the late drama and committed to Notre Dame after a no-show to a ceremony Tuesday morning.

“Deciding on a college is one of the toughest decisions a young player makes in his life, so we are very pleased with Davonte’s decision to attend Notre Dame,” Brian Kelly said in a school release confirming Neal had faxed in his letter of intent. “Davonte was an electric playmaker in high school and was capable of making the big play any time he had the ball in his hands. He excelled as a receiver, as a running back and as a returner for Coach (Charlie) Ragle at Chaparral High School. I imagine we’ll use him in a similar fashion here.”

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Neal can play either cornerback or slot receiver but will likely wind up taking snaps on the offensive side of the ball at the next level. His recruitment was kept under the radar for most of 2011 before heating up with late official visits and multiple suitors coming in late to make their pitch. In the end, he delayed his decision 20 days after Signing Day to pick Notre Dame over his other finalists Arizona, Arkansas and North Carolina.

Neal was named a MaxPreps first-team All-American as a defensive back while topping the 1,000-yard mark in total offense to go with 35 touchdowns last season as a senior. Many believed he would stay close to home because of numerous ties to Arizona, including the fact that his high school coach, Rangel, was hired by new head coach Rich Rodriguez before Signing Day and several of his teammates are committed to the program.

Bottom line however, the Irish are getting a great player who is ranked as the number four wingback and 67th overall player in the country.

"He is a receiver who must be double-teamed at all times," analyst Tom Lemming said of Neal. "He comes off the ball quickly with speed and strength, gets in and out of his cuts quickly, catches the ball, and then turns up field in a flash. He always takes what the defense gives him, can catch the ball at its highest points, and once he has secured the ball that's when the fun starts. He can out run almost every back he goes up against and shows excellent open field moves."

Neal's pledge gives Notre Dame 17 commitments for the class of 2012.


Since: Feb 14, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:03 am

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

OL was a problem Clausen's freshman year, we have a strong OL right now and depth to go along with it.  Next fall you'll see Golson at QB who, if he were 3" taller, would have been his class' #1 player, or at very least the #1 QB he was amazing in HS- 5th all time in TD passes.  Zack Martin is one of the top JR OL in the country and Cave probably top 5 C, then add Trevor Robinson, this is a very good OL.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 11:36 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

You clearly know nothing about Irish football if you thing depth and talent on the lines is an issue!!! QB play was the only thing that kept this team from being 10-2 or better last season. The defensive front seven is amazing and loaded with talent. The O line and running game were spectacular and there is talent across the board at skill positons. I doubt it will be this year because the schedule is a BEAST but VERY soon Kelly will have this team competing for BCS berths every year.

Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:26 pm

Hold your horses ND fans, your not elite yet

Before Notre Dame fans being to fantasize about BCS births and returning amongst the nation's elite a reality check is certainly in order. In order to compete with national powers it is critical for Notre Dame to build depth along the defensive and offensive lines, a gap that still remains. 

For the past ten years Notre Dame has had very little problem collecting their share of four star recruits at the skill position, but if the quarterback is not afforded time in the pocket to throw the ball, the talent of the wide receiver and tight ends matters very little.

Although the addition of Neal will garner much fan fare and possibly result in Notre Dame being 'over' ranked in the preseason, I remind you that in the world of college football, speedy wide receivers and running backs will get you ranked, but only elite defensive and offensive linemen will result in your team attaining elite status and winning a national championship    

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:40 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

notre dame could be a bigsurpriseyear in the plus column this year. once kelly can get his type of player in there they will be a force.

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:09 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Michigan owns the Irish!!

Since: May 1, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:06 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

You're poisoning the blog are you a bad team player?

Since: May 1, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:58 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Unfortunately a lot of fans hate clean programsTongue out

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:36 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Hope he falls flat on his face, just like the others who have go to nd recently.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:18 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

nice another selfish bonefish going to the irish... 

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:14 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

sweet ,ND needs him

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