Q&A: J.C. Neal

J.C. Neal was one of the crown jewels in Chuck Amato's class of 2005. Neal talks with Pack Pride about how he's adjusted to college life.

What's been the biggest adjustment you've had to make making the move from high school to college football?

"Really, just the speed of the game. Everyone's a lot quicker. In high school you could just blow past people but here, it's about technique but mainly, I've had to work on foot-work and just adjusting to the speed of the game."

You came in recruited as a WR or Safety. Are you going both ways or have you settled on a position?

"I picked safety. I'm comfortable at safety so that's where I'm at right now."

What do you think of the group of safeties that you're playing with?

"It's fun. You get a lot of help from the older guys and that makes it easier to adjust to. But it's fun being back there with those crazy fellas."

Is there any particular player at your position that you've been impressed with or are trying to emulate?

"All of them are good players but I tend to like JJ (Jones). He's really small like me but he's explosive and powerful so I really look up to him a lot."

Tell us about coach Diaz and what your early impressions of him are.

"He's a real smart coach, I'll tell you that. He knows his X's and O's real good. He's quiet but authoritative. He's a pretty cool guy."

Are you doing any special teams work in addition to your job at safety?

"They've got me working a little kick return, a little bit of punt return and punt block so I'm in on all of them right now."

You had an opportunity to commit to any of several very good programs. After being at State for a couple months, how do you feel now about your decision to commit to NC State?

"I feel real good. It doesn't feel exactly like home but it's close. It's not that far for me to go home and it feels good. I'm comfortable."

What are the expectations you have for yourself this year?

"I just want to see the field and help my team win games. That's the only expectation I have right now. Really, I just want to play."

What's the toughest adjustment you've had to make as far as college and fall camp are concerned?

"That has to be the schedules. Back home, I never had to get up so early to lift weights and stuff like that. The schedules are real hard to get adjusted to. Now I get up at like 6:40 am. I've got sleep in my eyes and I'm headed to lift weights or study hall. That's been the toughest adjustment."


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