McNeal's Stock Is Quickly Rising

The first three games of the season, Breck School (Minneapolis, Minn.) receiver Bryce McNeal was able to get open whenever he wanted, and that was with the opposition usually rolling the safety over his way. But after a few 100-yard plus performances, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound 2009 recruiting prospect started garnering more attention, frequently seeing triple teams.

"Basically our running game opened up," Bryce McNeal said. Perhaps the state's top recruiting prospect in the class of 2009, McNeal finished the season with 33 receptions for 670 yards and eight touchdowns, as Breck bowed out in the first round of the state playoffs with a 4-5 record. "I'd say I had an okay season."

Major college programs across the country would disagree. Triple teams isn't the only type of attention McNeal is getting, though he better get used to those as well.

Colorado was the first school to extend McNeal, who ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at a Nebraska camp this past summer, a scholarship offer. Then came offers from Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. Plenty of schools are showing a lot of interest, including Notre Dame.

"Right now, I'm kind of confused about all the schools coming around," McNeal said. "I want to make sure I get my hands on everything, so I know that I like it, and I know I can spend four years of my life there.

"I've visited Nebraska, I've been to Iowa, been to Notre Dame, been to Wisconsin, been to Colorado, been to Minnesota. I want to learn a lot more about North Carolina, Louisville and Michigan State. I like, I'm just confused. I like Florida a lot."

Like any kid early in the recruiting process, McNeal likes everybody. He agreed that if Pete Carroll called tomorrow, he'd be interested in USC.

McNeal made it on to Notre Dame's campus for the Irish's 28-7 victory over Duke, Nov. 17.

"It was nice, I liked it a lot," McNeal said. "The coaching staff is very down to earth. I just liked the atmosphere. It felt like home because I'm at a private school right now.

"The campus is beautiful. Even though they weren't having a great year, the fan support was there and that's a big thing. And it's a really good school and I'm trying to get an education first."

McNeal, who reports a 2.4 GPA at the tough private school, started both ways as a freshman and sophomore. But another cornerback emerged, so he's been able to mainly focus on offense.

"I'd like to say I'm a balanced slasher," McNeal said. "I'm pretty fast so I go deep a lot, and I got a nice pair of hands so I can go across the middle."

"He has all the skills," Breck head coach Chris Ohm said. "As the head coach, I'm never going to settle, we're going to keep on getting better everyday. He has all the tools to become a good Division-I wide receiver."

McNeal is well aware of Notre Dame's recruiting success in his state, citing Michael Floyd specifically, and stays in touch with Irish receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello. Ianello has also stopped by Ohm's office.

"He's a nice guy," McNeal said. "We email sometimes. I try and call him once a week."

Six times a week, McNeal is working with a personal trainer, trying to improve his game and get ready for the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio, Texas, the week of the U.S. Army All-American game, in early January.

McNeal chose to give up basketball and work with his trainer. He does weight workouts, speed workouts, pool workouts, with his heart rate being monitored all the time.

Athleticism runs in McNeal's family. His father Bronson McNeal was a Minnesota Mr. Basketball before playing at Wisconsin. His uncle Brett McNeal was also named Mr. Basketball, before having a Hall of Fame career at Western Kentucky.

McNeal isn't the only football star in the family. His step-dad Melvin Moore, was a former NFL receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings.

"He always gives me advice," McNeal said, jokingly adding that Moore is old and couldn't remember what Division II program in Miami he played at.

McNeal said he may take another visit to Iowa for a basketball game in the near future, but other than that he's just training for the combine in Texas. No doubt after that, McNeal will be receiving even more attention.


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