All-region. Check. All-State. Check. Shrine Bowl. Check. SCPrepNation.com's most underrated player in 2009. Check. Those attributes all belong to Northwestern RB/WR Jarrett Neely. Given the kind of success that Jarrett Neely enjoyed with the Northwestern Trojans over the last couple of years he talked about what the future possibly holds for him.
Looking back over his career with the Trojans Neely offered this up, "I'd have to say that I'm gonna miss playing for Northwestern. I'm gonna miss all my friends. I wish I could go and do it over again."
Capping his career being selected to the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team Neely talked about his fondest memories of the Shrine Bowl. "It felt good to be selected. It was a honor and privilege to be on the team and play. It felt even better when I scored the touchdown. (laughs). Yeah it was nice to go out with a victory too."
Practice was a big focal point for Neely and many of his teammates but there's also the bigger picture that Jarrett was able to see during his week of Shrine Bowl practice too. "I'd probably say the best thing were the practices and meeting new people and potential guys I might be playing with and against in college. The most important thing was bonding with those crippled children though."
As it stands currently Neely says he has five offers on the table. "South Carolina State, Hutchison, Newberry, Coffeyville, and North Carolina Tech. Out of those schools I'd say SC State and Coffeyville are coming after me the hardest right now."
With Signing Day creeping up what is his status at the moment? "I don't have any favorites right now but I'm gonna wait it out and see what happens and wait until Signing Day. Most of the schools that are recruiting me are recruiting me as a running back. I really don't have a preference but I could easily be a great slot receiver, as long as I get to play that's the bottom line."
It'd be hard to argue about Neely playing either position on the next level given how prolific his rushing and receiving statistics were the past 2 seasons.
At 5'10 175 pounds with 4.4 speed Neely is one of the most polished South Carolina prospects in the 2009 class. Watching his film you see the elusiveness and playmaking abilities that he brings to the table. His abilities don't stop as a back or receiver though. The fine art of blocking is an area where Neely also shines. Watching some of his film you're able to witness some bone crunching blindside blocks that Neely makes to help spring a teammate for a big play or to help swing the momentum for his team.
"Yeah when I don't have the ball in my hand I help the team anyway I can. If I get a blindside block or hit it's like scoring a TD for me. (Laughs)."
Having some offers on the table Neely has been mulling over his options. He doesn't have to look very far for another possible option as well. Former Rock Hill standout Jonathan Meeks didn't get a ton of attention from high majors during his senior season so he went to Hargrave Military Academy to work on his academics and improve his stock on the football field. Currently holding a number of high major offers now it's a path that Neely has been considering as well.
"That's what it could possibly come down to. It could be go to JUCO and stay for 16 months or go in July and graduate in December." Regardless Neely hasn't let the end of his high school football career stop his training and preparations. "I've been lifting weights to get even stronger and add some pounds to my frame."
If he were to take the JUCO route Neely says one school would get a long look upon completion. "Yeah if I go that route my first look would be at South Carolina. There are a bunch of guys from this area who have done well there now and in the past. I think that I fit in well with the offense that they run. First things first though I have to continue to work hard to put myself in position to get there first."
Inside The Numbers...Jarrett Neely
Bench press: 270 pounds
Squat: 400 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.43
Vertical: 36.5 inches
Broad jump: 10'0
Jarrett Neely Junior Video Highlights