Neal Feels Underrated

Lewis Neal participated in North Carolina's "Fedora's Freak Show" last Thursday to get some extra work in against top talent from within the region.

"I just wanted to have fun," Neal said. "Even though I have the offer, I'm still trying to compete – there's nothing wrong with that. That's what I like to do."

Neal did more than just compete. The 6-foot-1, 232-pounder from Wilson (N.C.) Hunt was one of the more dominant participants during one-on-one drills at the camp.

"I went against R.J. [Prince] and he told me he didn't think I was going to be that quick," Neal said.

Neal didn't only compete in linemen one-on-ones. He also played both sides of the fence in the linebackers-versus-running back one-on-one drills.

"When I went to cover, I shut that down," Neal said. "There was one running back over there that was undefeated until I shut him down. That was my first time ever covering too and I was picking interceptions – they couldn't stop me.

"And then I ran a route at running back and did decent there, too. To be honest, I'm the type of dude that can play anywhere. I'll play anything – I'm an athlete."

Dave Duggan, who coaches UNC's Bandit position, asked Neal to join the linebackers for a few one-on-one drills. But it was Neal's idea to run a route as a running back.

Despite his dominance at "Fedora's Freak Show" and similar events, Neal can't help but walk around with a chip on his shoulder.

"I feel underrated big time," Neal said. "Even R.J. told me that I'm underrated and I should be invited to things like the Opening and the All-American Game. I'll keep controlling what I can control, but I feel so underrated. I want to play in an All-American Game. I just don't understand the system because everywhere I go, I'm never stopped."

Throughout "Fedora's Freak Show," Neal was constantly the focus of attention of UNC's entire coaching staff.

"I was talking to everybody," Neal said. "Coach [Larry] Fedora, he was asking me what does he have to do to get me there."

In addition to the attention, Neal was impressed by the event's atmosphere, which included loud music and running out of the tunnel of Kenan Stadium.

"It gave me a little taste of what game days are going to be like [at UNC]," Neal said."Game days are about to be crazy."

"Fedora's Freak Show" did nothing but improve UNC's chances with Neal.

"I definitely like North Carolina to be honest," Neal said. "I haven't knocked anybody out."

"Fedora's Freak Show" was Neal's first recruiting trip since he de-committed from Ohio State. With a restart to his recruitment, Neal plans to visit LSU and Tennessee, and then sit down with his family to formulate his final five schools. Shortly thereafter, he expects to make a verbal commitment.

"I want to get everything done before my season," Neal said. "I'm not going to get a top five and then wait the whole season to commit. I'll have a top five and then in a few weeks I'll make a commitment, because when you have a top five you should really know where you want to go."

Neal didn't want to reveal if any schools are locks to make his "top five" schools list.

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