Combine his six-foot-eight, 315-pound frame with all-around athleticism, a strong academic background and a desire to be successful and what do you get? The answer is one of the most highly coveted recruits in the South this year.
The big fellow was on the Auburn campus this weekend following a late arrival on Friday because of a high school basketball game earlier in the evening. Despite the late start, McNeill says he is glad he made the trip.
"The visit went real well," he says. "The atmosphere was great--better than I expected." McNeill notes that he liked the players, coaches and academic personnel he met during his official visit to the Plains.
Marcus McNeill is an imposing lineman.
A week earlier he took an official visit to the University of Tennessee. Prior to Christmas, he was on campus at the University of North Carolina. He has lots of offers for more visits, but he just has one more definitely scheduled. "I am going to Miami the first weekend in February. I might take a visit to Georgia Tech, too." This coming weekend he plans to take a school trip.
Academics will play a large role in his choice, McNeill says. He was named Mr. Cedar Grove High School earlier this year school year and he plans to be an engineer. "They have this interesting engineering program that interests me," McNeill says. "It is a program they don't have anywhere else in the nation. That would be a field that would be real nice to get into."
McNeill says he also likes the facilities he visited and every aspect of the recruiting weekend. His player host had a vested interest in showing the big offensive tackle a good time over the weekend. "Cadillac (Carnell Williams) was my host," McNeill says. "It was just a great visit all-around." Williams, who will be a sophomore this season, is expected to be one of the top tailbacks in the country and he could certainly use a talented offensive lineman like McNeill clearing running lanes for him in future seasons.
When asked if he was less interested or more interested in the Tigers than he was before the visit, McNeill says, "I am more interested. A lot more interested."
However, the big lineman is far from ready to make his choice. He says he wants to check out Miami and has no plans to pick a college until that is done.
Tiger Ticket Extra: McNeill played in the Georgia-Florida All-Star Game last month at the Georgia Dome just before the Tigers were there for the Peach Bowl. McNeill's mother says that their family is originally from the state of North Carolina and that is why he took the first recruiting trip to Chapel Hill. She has been making the recruiting trips with her son and says, "All three of his visits have been good ones. I think he is going to have a difficult choice, but they all look to be good choices."...McNeil bench presses 330 pounds, is a standout in basketball, too, and throws the shot put 53 feet. He has also found time to pitch and play first base during baseball season. "Sometimes I am not sure how he does it," his mother says.