NC State head coach Chuck Amato hasn't had much in the way of recruiting success in the state of South Carolina since arriving in Raleigh. However, the Pack made quite an initial splash when they secured the services of WR/S JC Neal of Lakewood High School in Sumter, SC this weekend.
At 6-0, 180 pounds and boasting 4.4-second speed and a 31-inch vertical leap, Neal is a fabulous all around athlete. This year he rushed for 1,401 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging better than nine yards per carry. He also hauled in nine pass receptions for 117 yards. On special teams he returned 10 kickoffs for 355 yards, including two that were returned for scores. He also blocked a punt and returned it for a TD. On defense, Neal had 88 tackles, two forced fumbles and six pass breakups. In the end, Neal came away with all-conference and all-state honors, not to mention an invite to the Shrine Bowl where he registered two interceptions en route to defensive MVP honors. He was also named the 3A back-of-the-year in South Carolina.
Neal had all but narrowed his recruiting choices down to NC State, Virginia Tech and Maryland wih in-state powers USC and Clemson making a late charge. However, the Pack seemed to hold the upper hand for months and, this past weekend, Neal made it official for NC State.
"Yeah, I committed to State," said Neal. "NC State was so fun. I just loved everything- the players, the coaches, the fans. We were at the game last night and those fans were crazy. It was just like at the football game. While I was there I just got to see the campus and it was sweet. But the fans and the coaching staff is what did it for me for NC State. When I went in to tell coach Amato, he just started yelling and saying he needed an aspirin."
Several schools were still hot on the trail of Neal but the No. 6 prospect in SC and SuperPrep All-American says his recruiting is over.
"I had a bunch of coaches coming in this week and an official visit set with Clemson but I'm cancelling all of that. I'm 100% going to NC State and I'm done."
Neal projects as a full academic qualifier and could play as many as three different spots at NC State including slot receiver, defensive back and special teams.