Neal looking to improve

Davonte' Neal is helping to use the Fiesta Bowl as a spring board for next season. Read on for his thoughts on how he performed this season and more.

For Davonte' Neal, the Fiesta Bowl represents numerous accomplishments, including a reunion of sorts.

"Glendale Stadium, played there multiple times in high school, so it will be like a home game in a sense," Neal said.

"It is a little bit different, but there are a lot of the same guys on the team as high school so it is kind of a reunion in the stadium."

It's no secret that Neal has numerous Scottsdale Chaparral teammates that have also joined him at Arizona.

"It is exciting just to know that everybody is producing and everybody is coming out and trying to pursue their dreams and going somewhere with their life," Neal said. "These guys are grinding together and pushing forward together."

When discussing how his first season at Arizona went, Neal does not mince words.

"It was mediocre," he said. "I had an okay year. I could have done a lot better and I could have done some things different, but I have two more years of eligibility and I plan not to be saying this next year."

Having barely played at Notre Dame his freshman year and then sitting out last season, Neal admits it took him a bit to get back into the reality of college football.

"Just catching up with the speed again," Neal said of his biggest adjustment. "It feels like I had been out for two years. It was really a year, but I played a lot of special teams my freshman year and I feel like I actually got the hang of it at the end of the year."

Neal's biggest role was as a punt returner, where he feels he was generally successful.

"You have to have confidence in yourself, that’s the start of it," Neal said. "If you don’t have confidence in yourself, then you will probably drop a lot of balls.

"I have developed confidence in myself knowing that I know my body and who I am and that I am capable of catching this ball, so just make a play after I catch it. I think I did a pretty good job with it this year."

Still, Neal is hoping that he has a successful performance in the Fiesta Bowl and it leads to some momentum for next season.

"Just to be better than I was all year," Neal said of his goals. "Conditioning wise, route wise, and also mentally. I want to get better overall, do things better, catch more balls than I did this year, don’t drop as many balls as I did this year, and just come out better overall."


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