Interview with Clemson Commitment Bryce McNeal

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Bryce McNeal

Ht: 6'2" Wt: 170

ESPN #9 WR (#66 Overall)

ESPN Profile

GH: Which hats will you have to choose from at the Army All-American game?

BM: I’ll have four: Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, and Clemson

GH: Which one will you pick up?

BM: Clemson University.

GH: Why did you choose Clemson?

BM: My Mother’s sister that I grew up with (one of my favorite aunties), and a lot of my family is in Atlanta. I’ve also got family in North Carolina and South Carolina, so I’ll have family around where I’d be. Having family there makes a big difference for me; the home vibe and the opportunity to play was wonderful. I also liked the head coach and the all of the assistants.

GH: So it is basically that you can have the advantages you would have at Minnesota by having a support system, but still get to experience something new?

BM: Exactly.

McNeal picks Clemson

GH: What did you like about your visit to Clemson?

BM: The people were just wonderful, the spread offense they run is the same kind I run at my school (Breck).

GH: In your mind, did you make your decision on the weekend of your visit, or were you leaning towards Clemson going into it?

BM: I thought that they were probably going to be a leader, but I wasn’t sure. I kind of knew in my mind that I wanted to go there though, and when I took my visit, that was it.

GH: Was it any more difficult to decide on Clemson considering you did not actually get to see a football game there?

BM: It wasn’t. I talked to some people that have gone to a game there like Bryce Brown, and they said that their game days are second to none. Their tradition with the hill and the rock was amazing. Then when I went there, I found no negatives.

GH: What is the tradition with the hill and the rock?

BM: Howard’s Rock is a rock that they have. Everyone touches it, and they say if you don’t give 110%, don’t touch my rock. Everybody touches the rock and they run down the hill, it’s the most exciting 30 seconds of college football.

GH: You’ve had a lot of people pulling you in a lot of directions. Who has influenced you the most in this tough decision?

BM: It’s been my decision the whole time, I’m just glad that my Mom and my Dad agree with it. At the same time, my aunt went on the visit with us, and she agreed with it too.

GH: What kind of things have they told you about playing time for next year?

BM: The thing that I liked about them is that they did not promise me a starting job as a freshman. They did say that with my talent I will have an opportunity to play. If I don’t play next year, it’ll be because of the mental part of the game, it won’t be physically, I just have to study the playbook and work hard my freshman year.

GH: Who will be your wide receiver coach at Clemson?

BM: Jeff Scott.

GH: What’s his background? What do you like about him?

BM: He’s a young guy, I think was 27 and just turned 28 this week. He’s a really down to earth guy, he coaches hard, he’s a good Christian and a wonderful guy that my family and I trust.

GH: Clemson was your #2 choice back when you committed to Michigan, then but didn’t seem to be on the radar for a while. How did you end up choosing them?

McNeal Highlight Film (Warning Explicit Lyrics)

BM: I actually took them off the board and stopped talking to them for a long time. Coach (Tommy) Bowden resigned, and I really didn’t want to deal with them at all. Then I had an in-home visit with the University of Kentucky, and I was going to go there with my last visit. Then the Clemson coaches called me. The first time they called, I didn’t answer. But the second time they called I answered, and they said, “You know our new head coach is Dabo Swinney.” Coach Swinney is the person who recruited me my junior year.

They had wanted to get me out there on a trip, and they said that when Coach Swinney got offered the head coach job, he gave them a list of names of players he wanted, and I was on the list. I told them the only way I’d go and visit there is if they sent somebody up here to get me back up to speed and give me the rundown, and I’d see how I felt from there. Coach Scott came out and sat down, and it was wonderful. I liked the in-home visit, and I ended up going there instead of Kentucky, so that’s how they got back on the map.

So that, and considering the old receiver coach who recruited me is now the head coach; that played a great factor. I know that I’ll be taken care of, and he’s going to coach the receivers when he needs to here and there, and he’s going to make sure we put the ball in the air.

GH: What kind of performance are you hoping to have at the All-American game?

BM: I just want to play hard. I don’t want to get too emotional. I plan on really working hard and really bonding, and then recruiting at the same time to get some of these guys to be on my team. I’ll just really try to have fun, score some touchdowns, and make some people fall down with some nice, after the catch moves.

GH: So there will be some Clemson recruits at the game?

BM: I’m not sure, but there are some people that I want to come, and I’m trying to get them there.

GH: Who are you personally trying to recruit right now?

BM: Tajh Boyd, hands down, the quarterback from Virginia.

GH: What do you like about him and style of play?

BM: He comes from a good home, like I do; he’s a good person and a good football player. I’ve played with him in the past a couple of times.

GH: Running down the list of schools that you didn’t choose, why did you not go to Minnesota?

BM: It wasn’t about any of the coaches there, the coaches did a really good job; I just didn’t want to stay home. This was a decision I had to make for myself. I decided that I wanted to go away and grow up, become a man, and make my own decisions.

GH: Why didn’t you choose Oregon?

BM: Just that it’s a little bit too far away. I don’t know anyone on the West Coast; I have no family there, so there’s no one there for support. If I got hurt, no people would be able to come see me in the hospital besides my coaches and teammates.

GH: Did Oregon’s facilities almost sell you on going there?

BM: I knew going in that they would have the best facilities, ever. I weeded it out – if the facilities weren’t there, would I still go there? I still felt I would because the people were great, there was a great atmosphere, the players were treated as people and were just wonderful, but it was just a little too far.

GH: What about Colorado, what was the reason you didn’t commit there?

BM: I wanted to get away, but I couldn’t see myself at the University of Colorado. I was looking for a change, and it kind of felt like the high school I’m at now, and this time I got to choose the school I’m going to, so I wanted to make sure it was a good fit for me. Plus the fact that I have absolutely nobody around there as far as family goes.

GH: Any last thoughts on Clemson and how excited you are about your decision?

BM: I’m truly blessed that I can pick what school I get to go to, and I get to go there for free and play a sport. I want to thank god, and I just want to say, Go Tigers!

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