Smooth transition

CLEMSON - Behind Tajh Boyd, he was one of the highest rated recruits signed by the Clemson coaching staff in the 2009 recruiting class.

BRYCE MCNEAL INTERVIEW: (3:17)

And now that he's on campus, he and Boyd have strengthened a close bond that began years before.

Bryce McNeal, a four-star wide receiver from Minnesota who signed with Clemson over Oregon this past February, said Tuesday his experience in Tigertown has already exceeded expectations, at least partially because of his friendship with his good friend.

"Most people don't know this but we've been good friends for the last two years," he said. "We always said we wanted to go to the same school together. When he decommitted from Tennessee we both decided we wanted to visit Oregon.

"Then we decided we wanted to come here and it all worked out. So far it's been great. I'm close to him and to Jonathan Meeks and Rod McDowell- my roommates."

Of course, all of his initial expectations for the upcoming season, like most freshmen, center around early playing time. And after arriving on campus at 165 pounds earlier this summer, his first order of business has been to put on as much weight as possible.

"You've got to have goals and every freshman here wants to play. That is his goal," he said. "They want to be able to prove that to himself. I feel like I can do it. My personality is that I'm going to do everything in my power to achieve my goal.

"I came in at 165 but now I'm already up to 172 so I've already gotten bigger and that should help me."

But regardless of whether he plays or not, McNeal seems to have the right attitude for an incoming freshman- and that in itself can go a long way in setting the stage for a good career.

"I'm going to come out and work hard and do what the coaches tell me to do. Hopefully I can live up to the reason why I was recruited here ... this season," he said. "But we have some good receivers. If they want me to play then I'm going to do that, but if they want me to redshirt, then I'm going to do that because it's best for the team."

McNeal has also been working hard on the academic side of things as well. So far, it's been a fairly smooth transition even though freshmen typically take twice the hours as upperclassmen this time of year.

"I wouldn't say it's been easy but I came from a college prepatory school so the class work hasn't been as bad as I thought it would. At least so far," he said.

And that's a good thing, especially considering the enormity of the offensive playbook he has to learn in the coming weeks.

"It is big," he added with a smile. "I've already got it and we are all learning as much as possible with it right now. Hopefully everything will go as smooth as it has so far."

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