Deacs Jump In Mix For McNaul

It isn't often that Wake Forest reaches up to Minnesota to recruit football prospects. That said, when Wake's coaches utilize their resources to recruit prospects from the area, they must be thoroughly impressed with and have a good vibe about that particular player. Such is likely the case with Eden Prairie, Minnesota linebacker Bryce McNaul.

Bryce McNaul, a 6'4, 235-pound linebacker, is one of the top prospects out of Minnesota this season. As captain of Eden Prairie High School, McNaul heads up the football team at the largest high school in the state – and that comes with responsibilities. "Being captain for Eden Prairie, there are a lot of things going on and that's a big priority for me, putting the team ahead of yourself," he noted. "Sometimes that stops recruiting trips and visits, but I always want to put the team ahead of myself."

McNaul's squad is stuck with high expectations this season as they return a host of starters and hope to improve on their 11-2 record from a season ago. "We're actually the biggest high school in Minnesota so returning as many players as we are is good. Our defense is really good perennially so a lot of seniors leave each year, but we've got seven guys returning on defense and 4-5 guys returning on offense and with a roster of 148. That's good news for Eden Prairie. There's a lot of high expectations which isn't anything unusual for Eden Prarie. I don't want to say pressure, but I guess pressure is good."

Asked about his goal for his upcoming season, McNaul reflected the question to show he was he was worthy of being a captain at the team, noting that the team goal was the main item on his agenda in the coming months.

"My goal really has always been to play D-I ball and that's just my personal goal," he noted. "Like I said before, at this point any and all personal agendas I would have are going to need to be set aside for the team. That's something I'm perfectly fine with because at the end of the day it's all about the team."

The recruiting process won't stop, however, and schools will continue to contact McNaul in an attempt to bring him on their respective campuses next season. This past week, Wake Forest took a big step forward as Coach Brad Lambert put forth an official offer to the 6'4, 235-pound linebacker prospect. "I know that Wake Forest's coach said he was sitting on the beach thinking and said they just had to offer [Bryce,"] McNaul's mother noted.

After receiving the offer from Wake Forest, McNaul plans to make an official visit to Wake Forest in the coming months. "I'm hoping to get down there soon," he said. "Coach Lambert would be really excited to get me down there but he's also excited to come see a game or two up here."

"I came into the process really open about the whole thing," he continued. "I didn't really reserve any more interest for any school than any other. I would say Wake Forest is one of those schools that stand out especially. They have the best of both worlds in having a place of great academics and also the athletics."

Though Wake Forest is far from home in Minnesota, McNaul does not believe distance will play a major role in his final decision. "Actually I have family pretty much all over the country," said the 6'4 linebacker. "I have family in Georgia and lived in Georgia for a year. We've got family in Florida, Ohio, all over the map so being away from home isn't really a factor for me. Actually I just moved from Wisconsin two years ago so I wouldn't say that moving away from here is moving away from home necessarily."

As for the recruiting process, McNaul plans to put the process on the backburner as much as possible during the season and focus on winning a state title. "At this point whatever happens, happens and I'm going to let the process play out and it is time to worry about winning states for us. We've got a lot going on here, a lot of passing leagues and at the same time I'm working out for the former strength coach with the Minnesota Vikings when Coach Tice was here. He's in town and working with some D-I athletes from the Minnesota area. I'm impressed and it's helped my game in every facet. It's dropped my 40 time to a 4.66 so basically everything is improving."

"I'm really just kind of taking as much information as possible," he said of the process. "Like I said, I was coming into the process open and I want to explore all avenues involved in the process. I wouldn't mind deciding early, but I definitely don't want to be too hasty."

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