Recruiting Update: OL Josh McNeil

Josh McNeil, an offensive lineman who played for Collins High School in Collins, Mississippi, talked about what coaches have come in for in-home visits and what schools are his leaders.

Josh McNeil Profile:

What coaches have visited you in-home?
"(MSU assistant) Coach Grimes and (MSU head) Coach Croom were going to come in Sunday but I didn't get back from my official visit to USC until about 11 o'clock (Sunday) night. Coach Croom wanted to come last night but because I was getting back so late, they weren't able to, so Coach Grimes came by this morning (Monday)."

Was it disappointing that Coach Croom wasn't able to come with Coach Grimes?
"No, I knew he tried yesterday. It was just a scheduling conflict. He is coming next Monday."

Have any other coaches set up in-home visits?
"Coach Saban and Coach Muschamp from LSU are coming in Thursday night. Tennessee's Coach Caldwell is coming Friday."

How did the Southern Cal visit go?
"It went well, but the distance factor really hit home and I really don't think that is going to be the place for me. Southern Cal is the number 1 team in the nation and I felt like it was a place that I needed to see as a recruit. I believe I could reach my full potential there as a player, so I really wanted to go out there and see it. Distance wasn't really a factor to me until I got on the plane. It was about a 5 and a half hour plane ride and I still haven't recovered. I might have gone out there if it had felt right, but I didn't really feel very comfortable out there."

What schools have you officially visited?
"So far, I have officially visited Florida, Mississippi State, LSU and Southern Cal."

Who will be your last official visit?
"Tennessee, December 10th."

What schools are you the most interested in at this moment?
"Right now, my interest is in Mississippi State, LSU and Tennessee. And all three of those are even."

You will have all of your official visits out of the way by December 10th. Are you going to try and make your college decision before Christmas?
"Yes sir. After my December 10th visit to Tennessee, my family and I are going to sit down and have a long talk. I am going to pray about it a bunch. Then, I'm going to make the right decision for me."

Have you really taken the time and just sat down and thought about the schools that you have visited? If so, what are your thoughts on each school?
"The visits have really opened my eyes. From my visit, I really liked Florida, but their coaches got fired. I'm going to make a decision before they get a new coach. That kind of knocks them off. I really liked USC, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. That kind of knocks them off my list. I really liked Mississippi State and LSU. I don't know a lot about Tennessee, but I'm really looking forward to my visit on December 10th. Once I make my decision I am going to be through with recruiting because I am a man of my word. Once I give my word I am sticking to it."

What are you looking for when you go to Tennessee?
"The thing I am looking at mostly is how I would fit in to their program, how I get along with their players on and off the field, how I would fit in at the university, could I see myself getting up every morning and going to class there. I'm just looking to see what my overall gut feeling is when I go up there."

You talked about getting along with the players. I've talked to you quite a few times in interviews. You mentioned how you feel like a little brother to the players at MSU. Does that give MSU an advantage over the other schools?
"Yes sir. I have a great relationship with the coaches and players up there. Beside (my brother) Chris, I talk to the players all the time, Donovan Davis, Dio Herrera. I talk to them a pretty good bit. I have a lot of friends up there and I'm very comfortable at Mississippi State just because I have been up there so many times. I really like Mississippi State a lot, but I guess it is going to come down to whether I want to go there and be with my friends or do I want to blaze my own trail and kind of make a name for myself somewhere else."

Does your brother Chris ever talk to you about where he wants you to go?
"You know he wants his baby brother to come play with him, but he tells me to make my decision based on where I want to go."

How tough will this decision be?
"It is a very tough decision. It's getting close to me making my decision and I'm not sure where I want to go. Just the uncertainty of where I'm going to go really weighs on you heavily. You can't go an hour without thinking about it because it is going to be the most important decision of my life."

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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by email at

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