2017 Mobile (Ala.) Murphy defensive lineman Neil Farrell has been competing with the best of the best in the state of Alabama this week at the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game practices in Montgomery, Ala. On Saturday, the three-star defensive lineman will face up against the best from Mississippi.
The 6-3, 293-pound defensive lineman said the experience has been beneficial for him.
"It's really good competition I know. I've been working with a couple teammates and that's been good," Farrell said. "Things are going well the past couple days. There's some good offensive lineman out here."
The No. 31 overall defensive tackle in the country is expected to play the 3-technique at LSU and the staff has told him to come in and work hard, which could lead to early playing time as a freshman.
"I've been playing the 1-technique at nose, which is something new. I'll either be inside whatever way I go so it's been good to get out here early there," Farrell said. "Not really end as much, but at 4-technique a bit too. It's a great defense and I feel I'll be a good fit."
Right now, the Tigers still hold the lead for Farrell, who has been paired a lot with fellow LSU commit Justin Thomas along the defensive line for Alabama.
"LSU is still No. 1. It's just a really good fit. Every time I go there, I feel like it's a second home. That's what I love about LSU," the No. 1 defensive tackle in Alabama said.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron keeps up with Farrell almost every day and Farrell has a great relationship with LSU's new head coach.
"We talk almost every day. He was already defensive line coach so promoting him to the head coach is pretty good since he was going to coach me," Farrell said. "He's a great coach. Good personality. Good person to be around. Just a high-energy guy and a good style of coach."
LSU wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig has built a strong relationship with Farrell. Craig visited Farrell last week and watched him play basketball.
"It's really good. We got a great relationship. He's from Mobile so we really got a good bond together," Farrell said.
While LSU is still No. 1 according to Farrell, but he will take official visits to Michigan, Florida State and USC in January in addition to his LSU official visit. The dates are somewhat firm for Farrell on those visits.
"Probably going to Florida State on January 28 and USC the second week in January. I was going to go to Michigan on December 9, but I'm here so I have to reschedule that," Farrell said. "LSU will be at the end of January."
Florida State met with Farrell for an in-home visit last week and USC will likely visit in January since Farrell is out at the All-Star practices all week. Farrell touched on each of the schools still left in his recruitment.
On Florida State: "They came and did an in-home last week and it went well."
On Michigan: "They got a great coach. I'm real close to their defensive line coach. They got a great program."
On USC: "Good fit, good program. It's just a good fit."
On LSU: "I'll have to see on the official visit, but right now, we're LSU. It's just a feel for me."
Farrell is also considering a visit to Alabama as well, who is pushing early playing time and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar has a good relationship with Farrell.
As far as what it's going to come down to for a final decision, Farrell said on National Signing Day, he'll have his final decision after taking his official visits. It's all about what feels like home.
"Just going there to see if it fits me. All schools are saying the same thing. If I come in and do what I gotta do as a freshman, I'll play," Farrell said. "It's really going to be tough. All the schools recruiting me are great schools and have great atmospheres. It's really going to be tough. That's why I'm taking these officials. Seeing what school feels like home. That's what it's going to come down to."
SCOUT EVALUATION OF FARRELL:
"Farrell is a powerful trench presence, whether lined up inside or outside along a defensive line. He can beat blockers with power or quickness, but needs polish in his pass-rushing to take his game to the next level. Farrell redirects well and shows good discipline against the run and he can finish plays with violence once reaching the ball carrier." - John Garcia, Jr.