"Lewis is a young man who has a strong drive to excel," Hunt head coach Randy Raper said. "Everything he does, he does it 110-percent – even the things he doesn't need to be doing, he does it wide open. He's a very instinctive player, very aggressive, has good speed, [and] excellent strength."
Neal entered Hunt's starting lineup as a sophomore and responded with 96 tackles.
Despite missing three games, Neal bettered his tackle total (99) the following season. More importantly, Hunt went undefeated until losing in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs to eventual champion Northern Guilford.
Neal has collected scholarship offers from East Carolina, North Carolina, and NC State.
"When I go to the camp at Virginia Tech, the coach told me he's going to offer me," Neal said. "And I'm going to Wake Forest on the 25th [of February] and South Carolina March 13, and I'll probably get offers then."
"It's been a whirlwind," Raper said. "He's getting a lot of attention from ACC schools – Carolina, Virginia Tech, NC State, Duke. And then he's getting a lot of attention from LSU, Alabama."
The UNC offer is the most recent. It was extended last week.
"Coach [Larry] Fedora said he wants everybody from North Carolina to come North Carolina so we could have a North Carolina dream team," Neal said. "He said, ‘Today is Signing Day, but guess who I'm talking to?' That was a good feeling to hear that from him."
Neal is excited about the NC dream team proposal.
"It could happen," Neal said.
Neal's conversation with Fedora also included an invitation to Wednesday's UNC-Duke basketball game. Being a big Tar Heel basketball fan, he quickly accepted.
"The game was crazy," Neal said. "It was a really good feeling when we got on the court. We were just having a good time."
Neal was equally impressed with Larry Fedora's address to the visiting recruits prior to the game.
"I like Coach Fedora, because he's excited about everything," Neal said.
Besides UNC, Neal has visited Alabama, East Carolina, NC State, and Virginia Tech. With more visits on tap, Neal isn't ready to name a list of favorite schools.
"It's really early right now," Neal said. "I know I'm going to have more visits to take and a lot more schools to see. Probably around when the season starts I'll narrow it down then."
In addition to football, Neal is part of Hunt's basketball and track teams.