"I really didn't know for sure what I wanted to do at this time last year," Neal said. "I loved Coach Rodriguez and his system, but at the same time going to a school like Notre Dame was a life long goal of mine.
"I was really torn, but at the end of the day, my family thought was that I should go to South Bend."
His one year in South Bend wasn't what he expected.
"I wouldn't trade that year for anything because it taught me how to deal with adversity, but at the same time I didn't really mesh with their offense and I didn't have a grasp on what my role would be each week."
After the birth of his child, Neal began having second thoughts about his college decision.
"It made me realize I was a man now and I wanted to be around my kid," Neal said.
He also took notice of the prolific Arizona offense.
"I saw how everything Coach Rodriguez said about his offense was true," Neal said. "In his first year they were putting up a ton of points and moving guys all around the field and it was something that I really wanted to play in."
The transition to Arizona has been easy for Neal.
"Arizona just feels like home," Neal said. "I have absolutely no complaints at all. Everyone is one the same page and Coach Rodriguez is incredibly open with you about how he envisions everything working."
The connection with Coach Rodriguez was one of the school's main selling points in luring Neal to Tucson.
"I just have so much respect for Coach Rod," Neal said. "I know Notre Dame has all the reputation and everything, but you can't put a price on happiness.
"Even though Arizona doesn't have the reputation, I love everything about the school and their offense, and I get to see my family any time I want."