"He's freakishly good," Hillside head coach Antonio King said. "He's 6-5, 230 [pounds], real aggressive, great soft hands. It's his first year playing football, but fell in love with the game. His upside is amazing."
Up until his junior year, McNeil was exclusively a basketball player at Hillside. He decided to join the football team this past season.
"I decided that football would be my best path to earn a scholarship," McNeil said. "So far it has paid off."
McNeil ended his junior season with roughly 28 receptions for 500 yards and five touchdowns and was named All-Pac-6 Conference.
"He was a receiving tight end that grew into a better blocker," King said. "I'm looking forward to his senior year where he's going to be a complete tight end – inline blocker, be able to stand up and run routes."
McNeil's participation in football immediately paid dividends. In November, East Carolina offered. Six other schools eventually followed suit -- Minnesota, NC State, Ohio State, South Carolina, South Florida, and Vanderbilt – with the Buckeyes being the most recent.
Just about every school in the region has at least expressed interest in McNeil. He expects North Carolina to be the next to offer.
"I don't think [UNC] has seen my tape, but I think once they see my tape I'll be receiving an offer from them," McNeil said. "My next offer will be from either them or Florida."
McNeil attended UNC's Junior Day on Saturday.
"Everything went okay," McNeil said. "There were just a lot of kids. So I didn't really get a chance to talk to the coach, because there were so many kids."
McNeil did have a brief conversation with Walt Bell, UNC's tight ends coach.
McNeil, who visited NC State on Wednesday, plans to do a lot of traveling in March. Florida, Ohio State, South Carolina, South Florida, and Vanderbilt are among his likely destinations.
Although he's reluctant to name a true list of favorite schools, a handful of schools are sticking out to McNeil.
"I don't really have any favorites, but Ohio State sticks out because it is one of my dream schools. But there are probably five or six of them that stick out – Ohio State, South Carolina, the University of South Florida, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, and NC State."
McNeil still plays basketball for Hillside where he's averaging 20 points this season… McNeil's two favorite schools growing up were Florida and Ohio State.