Holding one offer from Nebraska

The Huskers are looking for help at the tight end position this year and have targeted a Missouri native as one of their top prospects at that position. When you see his measureables you start thinking about how Matt Herian might have entered the program at Lincoln. Maybe a little light for an every down tight end as a freshman, but when you see that height combined with speed and the ability to catch the ball consistantly is where you start to see tremendous upside.

Michael McNeil hails from Kirkwood (Mo.) and comes in at a hair under 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds. It's the 4.65/40 speed though that he has at that height that is drawing some of the nation's best to take note.

McNeil put together a solid year last year and brought home some top honors. "I had 44 catches for 806 yards and six touchdowns. I got first team all-state and all-conference," McNeil said.

So far, there has only been one school to offer McNeil. "I just have the one offer from Nebraska right now," McNeil said. "I got that about three weeks ago. Kevin Cosgrove is the coach that is recruiting me."

Beyond Nebraska, there are plenty of schools eyeing McNeil who could potentially offer. "I think that the two that are pretty close are Louisville and Kansas. Maybe Northwestern is close as well. Iowa and Michigan State also send me a lot of mail. I have a lot of interest in Nebraska and Iowa. Those are the top two schools right now."

One team that is noticeably absent from McNeil's lists is Missouri. If you ask McNeil why that is the answer would be, he doesn't know.

"I don't know, they (Missouri) don't seem real interested. I guess I am kind of the rebel of the family because both of my sisters have gone there and I don't know. At first I really wanted to go there with both of my sisters there, then I just didn't get a lot of attention from them."

"I get mail from them. Maybe once a mail and it's just a player profile letter. I have been down there for a Junior Day. It's really weird because I thought that they would be the first school to offer."

While the hope was there for a Missouri to offer first, they didn't, but that didn't take away from the milestone in McNeil's eyes. In fact, the Huskers may have put themself in a very good position to pull McNeil out of Missouri. He has set up an unofficial visit for The Big Red.

"I was really relieved that I got my first offer. I know it's early, but you always want that first one and then build from there. I was really happy that Nebraska was the school that offered me first because I am really interested in them. I really like Nebraska. We are making a visit up there on the 30th of April to check it out."

McNeil didn't attend any camps last year, but he has a lot of schools targeted as being possible destinations for him to go to summer camp. However, Nebraska may be on the outside looking in to get McNeil back after his unofficial for camp.

"I didn't go to any camps last year. I haven't really decided which camps I will attend this year. It's between about six different schools where I might go camp. I haven't made my final decision. I don't know that I will camp at Nebraska, although they have offered me. They're still in the running. But like Iowa, Louisville, Michigan State, Kansas and there is a chance I would still go to the Missouri one just because a lot of in-state kids will be there."

McNeil's claims that his biggest strength playing tight end is catching the football. Being a little light at tight end one might think that he isn't a fan of blocking, but he is and has gotten much better at it since his sophomore year.

"Receiving the football is my biggest strength. I can catch pretty much anything thrown to me. I have dropped the ball six times in three years. Some have been uncathcable, but I have 70 career catches over three years, but only physically dropped six passes."

"My blocking has improved a lot. My sophomore year I was just getting rolled which some people might say is expected out of a sophomore. Not really. I should have done a little bit better than what I did. This year I should be a lot better at that."

Michael knows that he will need some weight to go along with that height to be successful in college. McNeil is working on that now and will continue to try and add strength and weight through the summer.

"I definitely want to gain weight and strength and being able to block better. I think that is the main focus of my coaches right now too. I have been told that they like what I do with the ball."


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