It's all about family for one former Division 1 running back who has been looking for a new home.
Former Miami running back Shawnbrey McNeal has decided to return to his home town of Dallas Texas, to play for Southern Methodist University. The former Dallas Madison prep standout, played the last two years for the Hurricanes.
McNeal explained to PonyStampede.com Saturday night some of the reasons for his decision to leave South Florida and return home to be closer to his family.
"Yes sir I have transferred to SMU," McNeal said. "I wanted to be closer to my family. We are currently dealing with some health issues with my mother, she needs me to help out with things. I also have an one year old daughter than I can be closer to."
According to the former Scout.com three star prospect, McNeal weighed his options before deciding on the Mustangs.
"I liked what June Jones is doing at SMU," McNeal said. "I like how he feels about family coming first and how he treats his players like family. Family is very important to me. I weighed my options before deciding on SMU, it was the right fit for me."
McNeal, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound athlete who runs a 4.4 forty, played the last two seasons for the Hurricanes, is hoping to be eligible this fall for the Mustangs.
"We are appealing the NCAA asking for a waiver so I don't have to sit out a year," McNeal explained. "The appeal is due to the illness in my family. I couldn't play my best ball at Miami, I couldn't concentrate, I have been worrying so much about my mom and my family. They need me back home, I'm glad to be back in Dallas."
If the appeal is denied, McNeal will use his red-shirt year for the one year transfer rule, and will still have two years to play on the Hilltop.
"No matter what I will have two years to play at SMU," McNeal said. "The big question will be whether I can play this fall or not."
McNeal will enroll and begin classes this month at SMU. The standout running back fellow teammate and starting quarterback Robert Marve is also transferring from Miami.
"Robert and I are great friends," McNeal said. "It would be great to have Robert here in Dallas, he is a great quarterback, I'm glad he is considering SMU."
McNeal played in seven games in each of the past two seasons. He carried the ball 20 times for 90 yards and a touchdown as a freshman and also had 199 kickoff return yards. As a sophomore this season, the former Texas prep standout had 13 carries for 62 yards and two scores.