Neal Ready to Decide

Davonte' Neal will announce his college decision next week. The senior athlete from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral is down to North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas and Notre Dame.

Neal has family close to Chapel Hill, N.C., is being recruited by the Tar Heels to play on both sides of the ball and loves the education North Carolina offers.

Arkansas will allow him to begin work on his major as a freshman, Arizona offers familiarity and the chance to play several roles and Notre Dame has remained high on his list because of its academic and athletic mix, and the way the staff has recruited him.

On Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m. in Phoenix, Neal will announce which school he will attend. The announcement will take place at Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School.

"He's pretty much got his school," said Neal's father, Luke. "He came up with it last night, but he's locked and loaded right now and will announce it the 21st."

Neal's final official visit was to North Carolina. It came the weekend of Jan. 27, and the Tar Heels remained on his list since.

"North Carolina, his grandmother lives there so it is a great situation there," Luke Neal said. "He has the opportunity to play there on offense and defense, and that interests him."

Neal was multi-dimensional as a senior at Chaparral.

He rushed 100 times for 1,317 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 62 passes for 1,113 yards and 14 scores. Defensively, Neal made 31 tackles and had 12 pass break-ups, and he also scored five special teams touchdowns.

But playing early, and getting the chance to play on both sides of the ball, isn't a huge selling point, his father said.

"He doesn't care where he plays," Luke Neal said. "He just wants to be on the field. He just wants to be involved. He knows even though these coaches are saying he can come in and play right away, he understands he's going to have to come in and do it himself. That doesn't faze him one bit. He's not caught up in coming in and playing right away."

Neal is the last member of the Scout 100 to make his college choice, partly because he put aside the recruiting process until after his senior season ended. His first official visit was to Notre Dame in December, and it made an impression.

So much so, in fact, that even with the Irish coaching staff yet to define a role for him, Neal has Notre Dame in his final four.

"Notre Dame, he has an opportunity to play there right away," Luke Neal said. "They haven't really disclosed whether it would be offense or defense, so they're kind of in limbo. They are telling him that he would play where they have a need for him, and that could be on offense or defense.

"We haven't gotten a feel for them for offense or defense."

Like UNC, Arizona has also talked to Neal about playing on both sides of the ball.

"Arizona is really interesting because Robert (Anae), the offensive line coach, him and I coached at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) together in Rexburg, Idaho, so we built a relationship there," Luke Neal said. "UofA told him he can play offense and return (kicks) and also play some defense as well.

Prior to Neal's visit to North Carolina, he made an official visit to Arkansas.

"Arkansas is a great opportunity," Luke Neal said. "He will have the opportunity to go in and play right away. Academically, they have a great situation where he will actually be able to start on his major as a freshman, so he can go in and start right on his broadcasting major."

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