Big Time Safety in Mobile

Davidson safety Michael McNeil is one of the top defensive backs in the state of Alabama for the class of 2007. The 6-2, 197-pound prospect is receiving a lot of interest from schools across the country.

"I am hearing from a ton of schools right now," said Michael McNeil from Mobile, (Ala.). "The schools sending me the most mail are LSU, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Notre Dame, South Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss and Louisville."

"The schools I am really interested in right now are Auburn, LSU, Florida State, Clemson, Memphis and Alabama. I don't have an overall favorite."

McNeil talks about his six favorite schools.

Auburn: "I have been down there for a few visits, and I liked it there. I am going there March 11 and March 18 for visits. I love the atmosphere, the coaches and the fans. They treat you like family there."

LSU: "I like their passing game. They are very aggressive in the secondary. They have a lot of young upcoming defensive backs, and I feel I could contribute to their defense."

Florida State: "Florida State has always been my dream school. I have wanted to play for them since I was a little kid."

Clemson: "They are a defensive team. I like the way they use their secondary."

Memphis: "One of my friends goes there, and I liked it up there."

Alabama: "Alabama is basically the same as Auburn. I am going to their Junior Day March 4. The fans are crazy. Alabama is basically in my own back yard. I love their defense."

McNeil is the grandson of All-Pro receiver Clifton McNeil who led the NFL in receptions in 1968 with 71 receptions for 994 yards and seven touchdowns for the San Francisco 49ers. His grandfather played college football at Grambling State.

Though his grandfather was a star on the offensive side of the ball, McNeil is one of the state's best on defense. He finished his junior season with 81 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks, and he had a great performance in the Junior All-Star game.

"I bring pure aggression out there when I am playing," McNeil said. "I can look at an offense's formation and can tell whether it's going to be a pass or run. I can come up quick and make a tackle at the line of scrimmage. I can fake a blitz and cover my man easily. My cornerbacks know they can play up close on a wide receiver. If anything happens to get over the top of them, they know I will be there to make the play."

"I still need to work on my coverage when I go one-on-one. I need to work on getting my head turned around as well. That way, I don't get called for pass interference when I throw my hands up in the air."

When asked what he is seeking in his college choice McNeil replied, "The most important thing to me will definitely be education. I will check-out the location, the prestige of the school and the tradition."

McNeil will attend the Scout.com combine in Tuscaloosa April 29.


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