It seems evident that Ball will redshirt in the fall of 2007. But according to his coaches, he will use the time well. Ball has been getting into the gym lots, according to the staff at Jackson.
Ball, like most defensive ends in high school, is much better against the pass than the run. Like most talented defensive ends in high school, Ball gets double teamed often. Still, he made some great plays in Jackson's homecoming win over Central (Macon).
Ball had two sacks, one of which was a safety. Jackson outmatched Central, but struggled with them until the third quarter.
The final word on Ball is, as of yet, unknown. If he can add a substantial amount of weight he will be physically ready to take on the SEC. There is no reason to suggest that he will not add mass according to the staff at Jackson.
Ball must continue, like all tall football players, to work on staying low. When you are watching a defensive end, there's a lot of wait around because, in truth, they are not involved in every play. Still, Ball made virtually every play he was supposed to with the exception of biting on a mediocre-at-best fake from a running back.
NOTE: The video below is NOT a highlight reel. It is about 20% of the downs Ball played – specifically the ones he was involved in. I think it is a little more realistic way of seeing what a high school player is like.
Neland Ball vs. Central Macon