Commitment fast approaching for safety?

Wisconsin is the leader for Arlington, Texas product

Next week the academic year at Seguin High School in Arlington, Texas, will draw to a close. As the calendar turns to June, class of 2007 safety prospect Donte Neal hopes to make his verbal commitment to the college football program of his choice.

In a telephone interview Thursday night, Neal said that he hopes to have decision made "two weeks into summer" — meaning, he said, within two weeks of the end of his junior year at Seguin.

If Neal truly does make his decision early next month, then the University of Wisconsin football program is in the driver's seat for his services. Wisconsin is the only school to offer Neal a scholarship to this point — though several prominent programs are showing him considerable interest — and the Badgers currently stand alone atop Neal's list of favorites.

"I haven't been to (Wisconsin)," Neal said. "I'm hoping to try to visit them some time this summer. (Defensive backs coach Kerry) Cooks is the guy recruiting me. From what I heard from my coaches it is a pretty good school. They play good Big Ten schools. If I happen to go to Wisconsin I'm looking forward to the challenge because they play Ohio State and Michigan — those are big schools. To be the best you've got to play with the best."

Neal (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) had 85 tackles and 12 pass breakups last fall. He also was a starter as a sophomore at Seguin, splitting time between running back and defensive back.

"The first five games of the season I started at running back, then they moved me to defense for the last six games of the season and I started on defense," Neal said of his sophomore year.

Neal will play running back and safety this fall. One of his suitors — Texas A&M — actually is considering him as a running back, after seeing him play the position during one of his spring practices.

"I think A&M is kind of recruiting me to play running back," Neal said. "I guess they saw me run the ball and I guess they liked what they saw."

Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Kansas State and Missouri have called Neal this month, and Oklahoma is also showing him quite a bit of interest. But if no other school offers by the time he is ready to make a commitment, the Badgers will be Neal's choice. While he certainly would like to have more scholarship offers, Neal would eagerly play for UW.

"I would love for it to be more schools for me to choose from but if that's the only school for me there I'll make the best of my opportunity," he said.

Neal said he hopes to attend a camp at Wisconsin this summer or otherwise make an unofficial visit to the Madison, Wis., campus. He would also like to camp at Kansas State and Texas and he might make an unofficial visit to Oklahoma.

Neal also runs track at Seguin, competing in the 200 meters, the 400-meter relay and the 800 relay. He ran the first leg of the 400 relay, with a 10.8-second 100-meter split. He said his best time in the 200 is a 22.8. He has been electronically timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.61 seconds.

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