Minneapolis Breck wideout Bryce McNeal had big plans heading into the Top Gun camp in Paisley, Florida last weekend. The 6-2, 180-pounder was focused on proving his talent was equal to or better than many of those prospects currently ranked ahead of him. Things were going well until he tried to turn on the afterburners to catch up with a pass off the arm of Kevin Newsome and heard a pop.
“For the first two practices I went to I think I did excellent,” McNeal said. “I ran good routes and caught everything thrown my way that I got my hands on. I just went down with that hamstring and that really bugged me. I didn’t work out anymore after the first two practices. Hanging out with the dudes and all of that was cool though.”
Despite being sidelined, McNeal still managed to learn some valuable lessons over the course of the last few camp sessions thanks to former Michigan State All-American and All-Pro wideout Andre Rison.
“Working with Andre Rison (who was the receivers coach at the camp) was real good,” said McNeal. “He taught us some pointers that make us better football players, but the thing that really was inspirational was listening to his speeches about life.”
McNeal also had to opportunity forge relationships with a few other players, like his future teammate Kevin Newsome.
“We hung a lot,” McNeal said of he and Newsome. “We talked a lot of trash to Cierre Wood and Randall Carroll and all of them that are going to USC and Notre Dame. We are going to tear them up in the next couple years. I also talked to Shaquelle Evans. Shaq is a quiet guy. I put the bug in his ear (about Michigan). I’m pretty sure that Michigan is going to be one of his officials so he can check us out. He said he liked coach Dews, so that’s a good thing. He said no one will know what he is going to do until January.”
That McNeal was espousing the virtues of Michigan may come as a bit of a surprise considering the recent reports suggesting that he is planning to visits to other schools. He insists, however, that he is not wavering in his allegiance to the Maize & Blue.
“IF I take my visits and all of that…I’ve got to talk to my coaches at Michigan and let them know because I don’t want nothing to be a surprise to them…I will probably take all five of my officials,” he reported. “Probably to Florida Clemson, Louisville, and Oklahoma. I wasn’t planning to go public with it yet. I was trying not to until I talked to (the Michigan coaches). My dad said it had already been put out there. I called Coach Dews and I told him that there’s some stuff out there and I just wanted to let him know beforehand, but I didn’t get to really discuss it with him. He said he was going out of town and to call him back Wednesday. I’m 100% committed to Michigan, but me being a kid and this being a once in a lifetime thing, I just want to be able to say that when I get older that I went to these schools. I don’t want to limit myself to checking other places out even though I’m going to Michigan.”
For now McNeal is focused on healing up and helping his teammates get prepared for the coming season.
“Today is actually my championship game for my 7-on-7 passing league, but I can’t play in it so that’s kind of a bummer,” McNeal lamented. “I’m just going to go support my team and just relax and stay off my leg and try to get my body right for the season. I’ve got a doctors appointment tomorrow, and see what they say. I’M just going to be getting ready for my high school football season in my senior year.”