McNeal Has Leader

Banneker HS (College Park, GA) has been kind to the South Carolina Gamecocks in recent years and this year could be no different. Banneker is the home to 2010 safety prospect Demetruce McNeal and his twin brother wide receiver prospect DeMarco McNeal. Read inside as Demetruce McNeal updates GamecockAnthem.com on his recruitment.

The 6', 170-pound McNeal claims offers from South Carolina, West Virginia, Auburn and North Carolina. He is also receiving heavy interest from Michigan State, Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee.

McNeal claims a current top two of South Carolina and North Carolina. He says he has visited USC four or five times.

McNeal described what he likes about the South Carolina program.

"I like most of the coaching changes they made except for the Coach Cooper thing," McNeal said. "And they've got some players up there that I like and look up to like Addison Williams, he went to Banneker my freshman year. I would like to get the chance to play with him. And our course I like their athletic facilities. And I like their fan support."

McNeal was being recruited by former safeties coach Ron Cooper, and says he has not yet gotten the chance to get to know new defensive coordinator and safeties coach Lorenzo Ward. He may get the chance to meet Ward at USC's junior day, but doesn't yet know if he can make the visit.

McNeal says he could see himself fitting into head coach of the defense Ellis Johnson's unit.

"When I was talking to them they said I would do some of the same things I do (in high school). Probably move me down into the box and move the free safety over. Mostly when teams see my highlight tape they really want to see my athleticism and see what more can I do. They don't really see my coverage ability. I think I fit pretty good into their system."

McNeal believes he is better in coverage than he is given credit for, but says he doesn't get the chance to show that ability because of the number of teams in his region running Wing-T offenses.

McNeal also broke down why he is interested in the North Carolina program.

"I haven't been up there yet," McNeal said. "It's just so much interest that they've been showing me. The coach that is recruiting me, he coached my [high school] defensive backs coach. A lot of people that go to my school tell me that I should go there, so I'm going to try and get a ride and check it out before too long."

Despite his interest in UNC, McNeal says he considers himself an SEC guy.

"I like the recognition they get. There's just so much about it I like. I've been liking the SEC since I started watching football."

McNeal's twin brother, WR DeMarco McNeal is also being recruiting by SEC programs like South Carolina, Georgia and Auburn. The natural question is, do they plan to play together on the next level?

"People ask me about it all the time. But we really haven't sat down and had a brother-to-brother conversation about whether we really want to play with each other or against each other to see who is really the best. Most people don't really get that chance. We're both on the same type of level right now. But we would get the chance to go up against each other and say 'Can I cover him or can he cover me?' That's a big thing we talk about, but when we talk we mostly talk about if we don't play with each other, we talk about going to the same conference and that conference would most likely be the SEC."

The McNeal twins could be at South Carolina for its junior day soon. Other than that possible visit, Demetruce says they don't have any other visits set up right now, though he does have plenty of junior day invites he will look into.

Demetruce described what he is looking for when he takes visits.

"I'm mostly just checking out the facilities and seeing the campus. I'm mostly just checking out how the program just works, just what goes on."

While USC and UNC make up his top two, McNeal says one school has a slight edge.

"South Carolina mostly has the edge," he says. "Because I've been there and I know what it's like up there."

"I picture myself in their jersey sometimes," he added.

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