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: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:34 am

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Now with Gunner as QB maybe in 2 years they can play like the old ND

Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:30 am

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Drop the Hatorade and wake up the echoes ! ! !


Wait til these kids are juniors and seniors and we have a QB that doesn't turn the ball over!!!


WAR TEO ! ! !

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:14 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

during the worst seasons in UM history (almost as bad as the Faust years and ND . . . almost)

Gerry Faust's worst season at ND was 5-6, which he did twice.  Rich Rodriguez had a 3-9 season at Michigan.  Look very carefully at those numbers and tell me which is worse.

Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 6:12 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

packfan04 - UM may be overrated, but let's be very clear, they will and should continue to be ramked ahead of Notre Dame because during the worst seasons in UM history (almost as bad as the Faust years and ND . . . almost) UM is 5-1 against Notre Dame.  What is going to happen when Hoke actually gets his own players in there.  Have fun continuing to watch that horrible program.

Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

olemissfan91 - ouch on the Glyn Milburn thingSurprised.

Do you know if that NCAA rule is still in place regarding going one year and transferring? I personally don’t care where he goes as long as it’s where he wants. It all seems a little stupid that at 18 he can serve his country but can’t go to the college of his choice. My gosh he would have been better off at USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, Alabama, Name Your School just as long it is where he wanted to go. I sure hope he can dial in and play ball at ND but I just know it’s hard to give your best when your heart has been torn out of you like his father Luke did to him.

Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:44 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

The messed up part about ur argument is ND has been getting top recruits for yrs!  They get whoever they want to coach that sad bunch of losers and then what do they do....LOSE!   Every yr makes no diff, even Rich Rod owned ND, ouch.  Either ND sux and nobody really cares who commits there anymore, cuz all they do is lose and look bad doing it.  Good luck red face LOL....dont be mad bro!   GO BLUE

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:40 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

azmohave I remember  Glyn Milburn from California 20 years ago who wanted to go to Stanford but his father refused to sign his LOI. The dad wanted him to go to Oklahoma. He went for a season and then transferred to Stanford. Can you imagine any parent refusing to let your kid go to Stanford?

Since: Nov 9, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:16 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

1) Michigan is terrible and will be so overated next year - I can't wait to see them actually play somebody.  They will get stomped by Alabama, stomped by ND and stomped by the Spartans - prepare for a long season.  Same goes for basketball - couldn't be more overated - look for a nice 4-13 seed upset in the first round.

2) Real Notre Dame fans (and players) don't care how irrelevant you all think they've been for "years" - what matters to us (and the players) is what they'll do next year - they are relevant to us who watch every game, and root for them to win no matter what.  Why does it matter that someone thinks they haven't been relevant?  That's right, it doesn't.

Go Irish!

Since: Nov 9, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:10 pm

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

Very nice - love the signing.  Just another addition to a very underated class for the Irish - would be bumped up a few spots in the rankings if the quantity was increased, which doesn't matter at all.  Can't wait for them to tackle the toughest schedule in the country next year - should be a lot of fun to watch!

Go Irish!

Since: Aug 11, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:39 am

Davonte Neal ends the drama, commits to ND

How is a 5'10 kid a number 8? The top 25 from last year that were expected to make an imdiate impact had only 2 with decent numbers and several lost starting jobs.

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