Lewis Neal talks Junior Day

Wake Forest had a big in-state target on campus for a Junior Day visit in Lewis Neal from Wilson, N.C. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end, who plays at James B. Hunt High School, made the 150-mile trip west with fellow recruit, Tyquan Lewis, and his mother to Winston-Salem.

"It was my third Junior Day visit in February," said Lewis Neal. "My other two were to [North] Carolina and [N.C.] State. I'm going to Maryland this weekend and to Clemson in April.

"Wake Forest had a good environment. It was fun. The coaches were cool. I talked a lot with Coach McCartney, the coach of the D-line. They showed us around the campus. It's a small, private college with a good community. I like how peaceful it was."

Neal received his first offer from East Carolina. After that he said things got "crazy." Currently he has 10 offers and fields calls and receives numerous letters from more interested parties.

"My 10 offers are from UNC, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Maryland, Clemson, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and East Carolina.

"Right now, I'm wide open. My plan is to take all my regular visits and commit before the season. I'd really like to wait and take my official visits, but a lot of schools want you to go ahead and commit, so I don't know. The other schools I'm hearing the most from are Alabama and Oregon."

Lewis recorded 88 tackles (57 solo) during his junior season, seven tackles for loss, six sacks, five fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble playing both defensive end and outside linebacker. He was named All-Big East Conference (3A) and All-Area by the Wilson Daily Times.

"We made it back to the semi-finals, but were beaten by the same team, Northern Guilford, in the same round as the year before," Lewis said.

"We play a 4-3 defense. I move around a lot and may even play some three technique next year. I'm just trying to work on my all-around game to reach my maximum potential to become the Michael Jordan of football. My main goal is to help my teammates get better and go get more W's."

Although Neal is taking his time and isn't going to rush a commitment, he'd still like to stick to his plan of making a decision before his senior year at Hunt.

"I'd like to go on and get it out of the way," said Neal on a commitment. "I'm just looking for the right fit. Basically, I want to go where I'm most comfortable. The college I choose will be somewhere I'd want to go to even if I didn't play football. The defensive scheme doesn't matter to me. Football is football. You know what I mean."

Neal joined the Hunt Warriors basketball team after the football season ended. Currently he's running track in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, the 4X2 relay, and the 200 meter dash. He said he's a little nervous about this weekend's meet having to go against Tarboro's Todd Gurley II, who is recognized as one of the fastest players in the 2012 class. Also an excellent student, Lewis reports a GPA of 3.5.

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