Huge Lineman Has Lots Of Options

Huge, quick and experienced, this high school football star says he is considering the Tigers.

Ellenwood, Ga.--With an exciting combination of brains, brawn and a big, big body, Marcus McNeil is a popular young man.

Maybe Anna Kournikova might get more offers this week, but few others will as colleges from around the country have expressed a serious interest in the 6-8, 310-pound and still growing lineman who plays offensive tackle and defensive end.

Interestingly for Tiger fans, one of the names at the top of his recruiting list is Auburn. He also likes the surprise team of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland Terps, as well as in-state college Georgia Tech plus Big 10 powers Michigan and Ohio State. He took an unofficial visit to watch Maryland's exciting comeback victory at Georgia Tech.

Just to make the recruiting challenge more interesting for the Tigers, Tommy Tuberville's team isn't the only Southeastern Conference college that McNeil says he is seriously considering. He is checking out the beasts of the SEC East, Tennessee and Florida.

There are other reasons to like the big high school senior. To borrow a favorite phrase from Tuberville, this isn't McNeil's first rodeo. He has been a fixture in the starting lineup since he was a freshman.

Marcus McNeil

"I think a lot of colleges are interested in me because of my size," McNeil tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I also run pretty well, too (4.98 40-yard dash). They tell me they like my potential because of the combination of strength and quickness." McNeil bench presses 330 pounds and with his frame he is just beginning to develop his strength potential.

In a recent game, he lined up as a receiver on a tackle eligible play and made his first pass reception a memorable one, scoring from 25 yards out. He admits that was his favorite play to date although he has had many big ones while earning all conference, all district and first team Class AAAA All-State honors as a junior.

McNeil says he has not set up any official visits. You can bet there will be some serious lobbying for his services to be one of the five allowed under NCAA rules. "I really don't have a favorite right now," the articulate lineman says. "I am wide open and I do like Auburn."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Big linemen with good feet, who are standouts in multiple sports, are the kind of guys who can significantly quicken the heartbeat and raise the blood pressure of college coaches around the country. As a basketball power forward and center, McNeil averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots as a junior. He has thrown the shot put an impressive 53 feet and also finds time to pitch and play first base during baseball season...Off the football field, he has been selected as Mr. Cedar Brook High School.

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