04/04/2014 - 2014 Pro Days: Offensive linemen draw a crowd at Tennessee...Perhaps because of the talent of Tennessee's offensive line, running back Rajion Neal hasn't generated a great deal of buzz in the scouting community but the Combine snub put forth an impressive effort which could earn him a day three selection of his own. Neal, who caught my attention earlier in the year, measured in at 5-11, 220 pounds and posted solid 4.55-4.58 times in the 40-yard dash. It was the quick change of direction in shuttle drills, as well as his explosiveness in the leaps (38" vertical, 9'11" broad) which really caught the eyes of scouts and Neal also enjoyed a "pretty damn good" positional workout, showing clear cutting ability, acceleration and soft hands out of the backfield. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/01/2013 - Joshua Dobbs threw two touchdown passes and ran 40 yards for another, and Tennessee broke a four-game losing streak with a 27-14 over rival Kentucky on Saturday night. The Volunteers (5-7, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from their heartbreaking last-minute loss to Vanderbilt by scoring first-half touchdowns on long plays en route to their first victory since upsetting South Carolina in October. Tennessee avoided its first eight-loss season in program history and improved to 76-24-9 against the Wildcats.
After throwing five interceptions without a touchdown, freshman quarterback Dobbs hit Jason Croom for a 43-yard TD and a 7-yarder to Devrin Young. Tailback Raijon Neal meanwhile capped his senior season with 1,124 yards by rushing for 134 on 20 carries including a 60-yard TD on the game's second play. Kentucky (2-10, 0-8) finished winless in the SEC in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1941-42. Tennessee finished the season by outgaining Kentucky 417-393 for its third-highest offensive output. A defense that recorded just one sack during the losing streak dropped Wildcats quarterback Maxwell Smith five times. - AP Sports
11/11/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Vols dominated, but Rajion Neal flashes NFL traits...With pass-happy spread offenses dominating the rest of college football, viewers were treated to a blast from the past Saturday with Auburn and Tennessee relying on the run. Combined, the Tigers and Volunteers ran the ball 95 times for 668 yards and six touchdowns. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall led all rushers with 214 yards and two scores, leading his team to the 55-23 victory on the road in Neyland Stadium. But for all of Auburn's production in the ground game, it was Tennessee running back Rajion Neal who made the most positive impression of the game, showing the athleticism, toughness and soft hands to rank as one the country's top seniors at the position. Neal's natural running skills were best demonstrated Saturday on a highlight-reel touchdown run early in the second quarter that staked Tennessee to a 13-7 lead over the No. 9 Tigers.
Showing a nice jump-cut, Neal bounced left and right to get to the second level and then ripped through would-be tacklers to take what looked like a gain of one or two into a dazzling 17-yard score. After breaking free from the handful of would-be tacklers that all seemed to have an angle on him, Neal broke free to the left sideline, exuberantly high-stepping the final few yards for the flashy score. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
11/11/2013 - 2014 NFL Draft: Vols dominated, but Rajion Neal flashes NFL traits...Neal's touchdown was the best example of his intriguing talent but far from the only one. The 5-foot-11, 212-pound Neal possesses a well-built frame and was productive running inside or out against the Tigers. He is light on his feet, showing the ability to dart left or right quickly to avoid contact. Neal, who saw time at wide receiver and even quarterback in 2011 for the Vols, also is cognizant on passing downs, showing soft hands to pluck the ball as well as awareness and toughness in pass protection.
With Neal ran with the Tennessee track and field team following his sophomore season but has dedicated himself to football since. He led the Volunteers with 708 rushing yards in 2012 and has already eclipsed that total this season, rushing for 887 in 2013, including the 124 on 20 carries he posted Saturday against Auburn.
As it has every year since C.J. Spiller in 2009, the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL draft will almost certainly be an underclassmen. The "surprise" performances by rookies Zac Stacy (St. Louis Rams) and Mike James (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) so far in 2013 underscores the annual truth that there are quality senior running backs to be found in the middle and later rounds of every draft. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/13/2013 - Scouting the Tennessee running game: RB Rajion Neal ran for three touchdowns in last week's 52-20 win over Western Kentucky, becoming the first Tennessee player to run for three scores in a game since Montario Hardesty in November of 2009 against Kentucky. The Vols debuted their jumbo offensive line package against WKU, putting six linemen on the field at once for one series. - The Sports Xchange
08/31/2013 - Rajion Neal rushed for 141 yards and Justin Worley threw three touchdown passes Saturday as Tennessee began Butch Jones' coaching tenure with a 45-0 rout of Austin Peay. Neal and Worley sat out the entire third and fourth quarters after the Volunteers scored touchdowns on each of their six first-half possessions. Worley went 11 of 13 for 104 yards and threw touchdown passes to Devrin Young, Alton "Pig" Howard and Brendan Downs. Neal opened the scoring with a career-long 47-yard touchdown.
Jones was hired away from Cincinnati in December to turn around a storied program that has produced three straight losing seasons for the first time in over a century. Jones replaced Derek Dooley, who was fired after going 15-21 in three years. He already is making an impact in the stands. Jones' debut had an announced attendance of 97,169. Tennessee drew 87,821 fans for its home opener against Georgia State last year and had an average attendance of 89,965, its lowest since 1979. - AP Sports
08/29/2013 - OTHER TENNESSEE PROSPECTS WORTH WATCHING: RB Rajion Neal (5-11, 212, 4.53)...Neal emerged as an important part of the Vols' stable of running backs as a true freshman, logging 46 carries for 197 yards and catching seven passes for another 100 yards in 2010. His vision, tough running, and soft hands made him a jack-of-all-trades a year later as he saw time as a receiver, runner and even Wildcat quarterback. Neal was moved back to running back in 2012 and won the starting role, leading the team with 708 rushing yards and scoring nine touchdowns despite missing two games due to an ankle injury.
Neal (whose first name is pronounced RAY-zohn), possesses the leg drive to generate yards after contact to go along with his athleticism and ball-skills. If he can hold off junior Marlin Lane, Neal could prove a force in the SEC in 2013. Neal is focusing strictly on football this season after running track for the Vols following his sophomore campaign. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
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