Favorite Revealed

A Big East power remains strongly atop the list of schools for this Ohio defensive back.

Hamilton High School's Kenny Veal has played several different positions for his team during his career, but is being recruited as a defensive back. With offers from West Virginia, Miami (Oh), Eastern Michigan and Eastern Kentucky in hand, the quick-reacting defender has a clear favorite.

"West Virginia is my favorite right now, but I may wait until the season starts to commit -- maybe around the second game or so. There's no problem, my coach just wants me to wait a little while."

Veal hasn't been able to make a trip to West Virginia yet, but is in the process of trying to set one up with the Mountaineers. He camped at Miami, Virginia Tech, Purdue and Louisville over the summer, and was enroute to an independent seven-on-seven camp when reached for an update.

"I am trying to get my visit to West Virginia set up soon," he said. "I wasn't able to get there for a camp."

Standing just short of six feet and weighing in at 185 pounds, Veal has enough size to battle bigger wide receievers. Of more importance, however, are his speed and reaction times.

"I've run a 4.4 this year," Veal said, "but my strength is my recovery speed. I have good hips too."

The latter quality is prized in any prospect, and refers to the ability to change direction quickly. 'Flipping your hips' is a phrase heard often in coaching circles, and players who can do so quickly are able to change directions and react more quickly to an opponents moves. Veal has that ability, thus leading to interest in him as a defensive back.

Those aren't the only positions he has manned, however.

"Last year I started out at corner and had like 17 tackles and won a game MVP," he said. "But then our running back got hurt, and I had to fill in for him. I ended up with 1,048 all-purpose yards. I played five games at wide receiver and five at cornerback."

This year, Veal is getting a look at slot receiver on offense -- a reason for the trip to the seven-on-seven camp.

"We're going down there now to see how well I catch the ball. I hope I can play both ways -- I like getting on the field."

Veal's primary position will be corner, however, where all the schools on his list are recruiting him.

"I love to make tackles," Veal said of his position preference. "I might be a little guy, but I love to tackle."

Like many current recruits, Veal has watched West Virginia's rise to prominence over the past few years, but didn't have any ties to the Mountain State before the recruiting process began.

"I've watched them on TV, and I like watching Steve Slaton," he said of his Mountaineer interest.


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