Commitment #5!

The apple -- or Cyclone -- doesn't fall too far from the tree in the Neal family. Joining dad and his older brother as Cyclones will be Brian Neal, who plans to sign a letter-of-intent with Iowa State come February.

There will be another Neal on Iowa State's campus next fall. Following in the footsteps of his father Brian and brother John, Patrick Neal will be the next Cyclone in his family.


Patrick accepted Iowa State's offer Sunday after partaking in the Cyclones padded camp.

"I was really excited," Patrick said. "It'd been my goal my whole life, so it was really satisfying."


Brian was a four-year starter on the offensive line for the ISU football team from 1977-81. He was also named Big Eight Newcomer of the Year and was national freshman offensive lineman of the year in 1977. John is known as a defensive specialist and Hawkeye sharpshooter on the current ISU basketball squad.


Patrick said he will either play linebacker or defensive end for the Cyclones in the fall of 2006.


After living in Winterset for 12 years the Neal family moved to West Des Moines last fall and Patrick enrolled at Valley High School.


"It's been a great move for him," Brian said. "It was hard for him to leave. He had a lot of good friends in Winterset, but I think it will be good for him."


Patrick is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and will play defensive end for the Tigers. His junior season at Winterset the team made it to the state playoffs in class 3A; his move to Valley will also mean a move to Iowa's largest football class – 4A.


"It should be better competition," Patrick said.


At Iowa State's padded camp, Patrick didn't shy away from competition.


"I was a hard worker and I never gave up," he said.


Like his brother, Patrick also plays basketball. He took last year off to concentrate on gaining weight and lifting for football, but he might suit up for the Tigers this winter.


Both Neal sons are a dual sport threats, but each excel at their preferred sport.


"John played football," Brian said. "But that wasn't his game. In a 3A school you play everything because what else is there to do? He was glad when football was over. He's more of a basketball guy."


Patrick said his brother did inherit some football talent too.


"I think he's just as good at football as he was at basketball," Patrick said. "If he would have applied himself, but he's pretty good."

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