When Lewis Neal committed to LSU in July, he knew it was the place he had to be. Since then, the 6-2 240-pound Class of 2013 defensive prospect has had a chance to grow his relationships with several members of the LSU coaching staff.
With in-home visits in full swing, the James Hunt High School (NC) standout said he is using his time with the LSU staff to get them more comfortable with his family, because he says he already knows everything he needs to know about LSU.
Defensive coordinator John Chavis recently paid a visit to Neal, who will also be meeting with Brick Haley and Les Miles in the coming days.
"Coach Haley is coming and then he is going to see Greg [Gilmore]," said Neal. "Coach Miles will be here either this week or next week. Coach Chavis came last week as well, and it was great. I'm glad he got to see my family and everything. I know he enjoyed it, so I'm really glad he got to see how I was brought up and everything.
"I know pretty much everything about LSU. I know the classes that I am going to take there and everything. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the coaches meeting my family. I think it will be great because they are just pretty much coming to hang out."
While his family is just getting to know his future coaches, Neal said he has had a great relationship with the LSU staff from the very beginning. Neal explained it was the main reason he chose LSU.
"We have a great relationship," said the Wilson, NC, native. "I like them all and they are the best coaches out of any school that I talked to, which is why I decided on LSU. I felt a lot more comfortable the first time I met them than coaches from other schools. They are really going to push me and I like that. I feel like they are the best coaches for me."
Though it has been an eventful few weeks for Tiger fans (with the Les Miles press conference, in addition to the rumors that Miles may leave for Arkansas), Neal explained that Miles just showed people what he has known about him for a long time.
"That's Coach Miles for you," said the three-star defensive line prospect. "I know that he will take care of me when I get there. I love the fact that he will stand up for us as well, just like he did that night (after the Ole Miss game).
"Everybody was talking about him leaving and stuff, but I knew he wasn't going to leave because he called me to tell me immediately that he was staying."
One question that has surrounded Neal since he committed to LSU is where he will play on the defensive side of the ball. Neal explained that the LSU coaches expect him to be a defensive end that can do many different things, something he feels he has the attitude to handle very easily.
"I'm going to play defensive end," said Neal. "I'm going to be able to do it all to be honest with you. My film this year didn't really show people what I could do. I definitely got my hit power up this year a couple of times, so I think I'm ready for that at the college level. When people ask me if I can do things, I tell them that I have to. I have to do what I'm told and play the best that I can."
Because he believes that he has so much versatility, Neal expects to see the field early at LSU. However, he has already realized the hurdles that he faces for that to happen.
"I anticipate seeing the field early at LSU," said Neal. "All of the coaches have told me that if I can come in and work hard that I will see the field very early at LSU. They have already been telling me all of the stuff that I need to know so I can contribute early. I'm looking forward to getting into the playbook early because that will allow me to see the field early."
Another aspect of LSU that Neal is extremely comfortable with are his future teammates. Neal explained that LSU fans will get a chance to see him play along side several of his future teammates in showcase games. The relationships he has built with his fellow recruits are something that Neal says was encouraged by the LSU coaching staff, and he feels as though it has been great so far.
"I know all of the recruits are great," said Neal. "I am playing with four of the commits in the Under Armour Game and then with Greg [Gilmore] in the Shrine Bowl. I talk to them a lot and am really looking forward to playing with all of those guys. We are like a big family and that is something the coaches have stressed to us. I just can't wait to get there."
With LSU slipping into the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Clemson, Tiger fans everywhere have felt that LSU deserved a better bowl bid. Neal feels as though the Tigers did enough to get into a major bowl, and he has his own opinion of how the matchup of Tigers will go.
"I'm looking forward to seeing it," said Neal. "It is going to be a huge game for LSU. Both teams are very good. I think we should have been in a BCS game because of the teams we beat. But, LSU just has to take what they get and make the most of it, which I think they will. I think LSU will beat them pretty easily because I have watched Clemson play several times."
Neal ready to contribute
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