Waiting Game

Mesquite, Texas, athlete Deandre McNeal attended Ole Miss elite camp with his teammate, Malik Jefferson, earlier this month.

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The pair of 2015 prospects, both of which star for Ralph H. Poteet High School, are in the very early stages of the recruiting process. There are many days and weeks and months before pen meets paper - in this case, a national letter of intent - and McNeal and Jefferson become Division-I student-athletes.

Much can, and will, change.

Still, Jefferson, a linebacker, already boasts well over 15 offers, including every major in-state program. He also holds at least two from the Southeastern Conference, Ole Miss being one of the schools.

As for McNeal, well, he is still waiting for his first. Not to say interest hasn't been there, of course. Many schools are calling. For now, he is keeping patient.

"No offers, but I've talked to Mississippi State, Texas Tech, OSU, Texas, Ole Miss and TCU," he said, adding that he feels Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are all close to offering.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound McNeal was making his first visit to Ole Miss when he participated in its elite camp, held June 7. McNeal feels the Rebels, led by second-year head coach Hugh Freeze, are high on him.

"They say they like my size and stuff and how I play," McNeal said of the Rebels, who finished 7-6 last season. They made their first bowl appearance in three seasons in the BBVA Compass Bowl in January, defeating Pittsburgh.

"They've said I look kind of relaxed out there on the field, and they like how I can play multiple positions. They have great opportunities (at Ole Miss)."

Sure, McNeal isn't off to the fast start of, say, Jefferson, but he's not worried. He knows the offers will come in due time. And when they do, he will know exactly what he is looking for in a program.

"I look for which one can give me the best education," he said. "It's not just about playing football. I'm looking for a family atmosphere where I feel comfortable. That's about it, really."

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