One of nation’s top safeties making plans to visit Clemson this summer


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One of the nation’s top safeties in the 2012 recruiting class has decided he wants to visit Clemson this summer, and now is just waiting to pick a date.

LaDarrell McNeil LaDarrell McNeil
Defensive Back
6-1, 190
Dallas, TX

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(6-1, 195) of Maceo (Dallas, TX) High School already has offers from most of the Big 12 and Pac-10 schools, but Clemson is one of only two ACC schools to offer [Miami, FL is the other one] and now says he wants to make a trip to visit the campus and meet the coaches.

“Hopefully I can get up there this summer,” McNeil told TigerNet Friday. “Every time I talk to the coaches, I try to learn more about the school. I want to see Death Valley and the campus. I know I won't get the whole experience, but I still want to see it. The only time I have ever seen them run down the hill is on the Xbox 360, so I would like to see that in person.”

New offensive coordinator Chad Morris coached high school football in Texas and recruited the state for Tulsa last season, so he knows the area well. However, McNeil says he was still surprised when he got the Clemson offer.

“When coach Morris offered me, I was kind of shocked,” he said. “I didn’t think they would know about me. I am just a player out here in Texas, and I don’t know how they heard about me. But he is a pretty good recruiter, and I like him a lot. But really, it’s a great honor to have all of these offers from these schools. When I was little, I never thought anything like this would happen. It is an honor to have so many of them.”

As a junior, McNeil racked up a whopping 148 tackles with three interceptions, and he said that his tackling is what most people talk about after they see him play.

“I think people get excited when I make the big hit,” he said. “Then I go out on the next play and make the big hit again and they really get excited. That is an exciting part of the game, but that is not the biggest thing to me. My biggest thing is I like winning. I like it when the whole team and defense are doing well. When my teammates are making plays I know I am doing my job.”

McNeil has already been added to 2012 Army Bowl roster, and is usually listed as a top performer at every combine and event he attends. However, he says that he wants to make sure he isn’t just focused on football or making the NFL his lone dream.

“Playing in the NFL is something I have wanted my whole life,” he said. “But I have other options I am going to look into. I am not going to put everything into that one dream. I am going to put effort into my other dreams, so I will always have options in life.”

He says it is way too early to name a favorite, and will wait until he has seen more places to make a decision.

“I am completely open right now,” he said. “I really don’t have any schools that stand out. It is no problem to me if I go out of state or if I stay in Texas. It is just going to come down to going to a place where I feel comfortable, and I can play football. I want to go somewhere where my mom and dad and brothers and sisters can come and feel comfortable and watch me play.”


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