It's nearly the end of August for teams are out on the practice field preparing for their first game. Such is the case with T.J. Neal of McKeesport (Pa.) and he says that it feels good to get back out there.
"We are practicing right now," Neal said. "Things are going pretty good. It feels good to get back out on the field."
Neal says that there are high hopes for the McKeesport team this fall partly because of how things finished last year. He admits that last year's team might have been more talented, but this group is tighter.
"I would say that they are very high. I expect for us to do a lot. It's my senior year. I expect us to go far this season.
"We lost last year in the first round of the playoffs. Last year we were a better team, but we are tighter and closer as a team."
Neal has set up an official visit for the early part of October to get out to Lincoln to see Nebraska. He is going during what will be a very popular weekend this season; a night game against Ohio State.
"I have set up an official visit to Nebraska in October. I don't know the date, but it's around the Ohio State game.
"I want to see how the coaches interact with their players, check out the facilities and I want a chance to meet all of the coaches."
There might be some that will point out the distance between Nebraska and Neal's home town, but if they did they would only be strengthening Nebraska's chances. "No, I am not concerned with distance. I want to get away. I don't want to stick around. I want to go far away to go to school."
There are two coaches from Nebraska that have been heading up the recruiting of Neal and they are looking at Neal to play either of the three linebacker positions in college. He says that he plays primarily as one now, but is versatile enough to play any of them.
"The coaches that are recruiting me from Nebraska are Ross Els and John Papuchis. They are looking at me to play linebacker at Nebraska.
"Nebraska said that they like me because I could any of the linebacker positions. They like me as a MIKE, WILL and BUCK. I play MIKE now and it doesn't matter which I play in college."