Alabaster, Ala.--Already with an offer from Mississippi State and interest from several other football programs, including the Auburn Tigers, Clemson and Georgia, 6-5, 300 Mackie McNeal is definitely a player to watch on the defensive line in the 2018 class.
“I really don’t focus on it too much,” McNeal said of the early interest. “I’m focusing on high school right now and when it’s my time it’s my time.”
Still working to improve his game under position coach and former Auburn support staff member Wes Murphy, McNeal said at the moment the attention he’s been getting only serves to make him want to work harder to get better.
“Once my teammates see me doing good it will make them want to do good,” McNeal said. “I’m one of the best defensive linemen we’ve got and I’m trying to be one of the best in the state. When they see me doing good it’s going to make them want to do good.”
Making a visit to check out Mississippi State following the spring and getting an offer, McNeal said he’s looking forward to learning more about the Bulldogs in the future.
“They have a really nice campus,” McNeal said. “They offer a lot for me actually. I like the defense that they play.”
Making a visit to check out Auburn recently as well, McNeal said seeing the campus and getting a chance to talk to the coaches was a big deal for him.
“I like the way they are set up,” McNeal said. “I feel like I would fit in good down there. They teach stuff that is going to make us great and get us to the next level.”
With Murphy working alongside Auburn’s Rodney Garner while he was on the Plains, it’s no surprise that the Warriors do some of the same things up front. That’s something that McNeal said was evident when he sat down and talked football with Garner while on his visit as was his genuine desire to learn more about him.
“He takes the time to talk to me,” McNeal said. “If I call him I know he’s going to pick up and answer and help me with my technique.”
Still waiting on an Auburn offer, McNeal said Garner and the Tigers want to see how well he can move his hips and how he can stay low. He’s planning to be back on the Plains for another visit in late July.