Neal, one of the better linebacker prospects in the state this year, enjoyed the visit and the tour of the campus. "It's really nice," Neal said. "I really liked it."
Neal noted that the Deacs are recruiting him hard along with several other in-state schools. "I've got Duke, Carolina, East Carolina, schools like that," Neal said shortly after his visit when asked which schools were recruiting him. "They're all just evaluating me right now."
Less than a day later, Neal received the word that schools are not "all just evaluating." On Monday, coaches from Wake Forest called Neal's head coach, David Howle, to offer Neal a scholarship. "[Wake's coaches] watched the film this morning, watched about five plays and knew they had to offer him," Coach Howle said.
"North Carolina, Virginia, Ole Miss, Duke, that's pretty much it right now, but everyone is starting to watch his junior tape and are getting interested. I know North Carolina is real interested, Ole Miss, and Virginia called Friday. He took a visit to Duke yesterday also and they like him. I think probably North Carolina and Virginia are recruiting him the most [other than Wake Forest."]
While Neal hails from a small AA school that often does not get the attention of major schools around the state, the film being sent out on him has opened the eyes of college coaches around the area. "The kid's got a great motor," Coach Howle said. "He plays hard and has unlimited potential. He's 6'3, about 220. He'll probably get 235 after basketball season. He can play tight end, outside linebacker, and a lot of people like him as a DE. He may be a kid that's 6'4, 6'5 250 pounds when he's done. I don't know how big he's going to get. He's got long arms, long legs."
On top of Neal's physical prowess and ability on the field, he also possesses an attitude that college coaches will love. One of Coach Howle's other D-I signees in recent years, current Deacon fullback Mike Rinfrette, found his home in Winston-Salem and, according to Coach Howle, he believes that Neal may be a good fit as well. "I told Kerry that I think he would fit in well there," Howle said. "I told him that Wake Forest might be a good fit for him. I think Mike being there may be good for them."
"He's got great character, a great attitude, and is a 3.0 student so he'll qualify," Howle said. "Kids don't get any better than Kerry Neals and Mike Rinfrettes. We've got kids who have values. He's one of them."