One of the first stops for Chizik's coaching staff this week on its four-day "Tiger Prowl" tour of high schools around the state of Alabama was McNeil's school.
"I saw the coaches while they were down in our fieldhouse," McNeil tells Inside the Auburn Tigers.
A limo full of Auburn assistants stopped by Davidson and McNeil says that definitely was the talk of his high school football team. "I think it is a great idea and other players on the team did, too," he says of the Tiger Prowl. "It is kind of overwhelming to the prospects to have seven coaches come to see them. It makes them feel special."
McNeil and his teammates will start spring practice on Friday. The defensive tackle has been working on getting stronger and bigger since last fall and says he is up to 6-2, 270 pounds.
The defensive lineman's brother, who had plenty of scholarship offers before committing to Auburn while at Davidson, is currently recuperating after suffering a broken bone in his leg from an injury he suffered in spring practice. "He's fine," Pat says of Mike, a returning starter at safety for the Tigers who will be a junior this fall. "He is going to be ready again when practice starts in August."
Has Mike McNeil given his younger brother advice about recruiting? "He just said keep your head on straight and make sure you take care of your grades," Pat says. "He says if I do that everything else will fall into place."
McNeil says that he currently isn't worried about recruiting. "That is not what I am about this spring," he says. "My focus is getting better as a football player."
Chizik took over as head coach at Auburn in December. Pat McNeil says his brother has told him good things about Chizik and the new staff. "He says that he has a good bond with the coaches," the high school junior notes.