Tigers surprise 4-star DE with offer

by - Senior Writer -
As a junior, Neal recorded 88 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles.

Lewis Neal Lewis Neal
Defensive End
6-3, 230
Wilson, NC

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had a big day on Tuesday, collecting two more official offers to add to the five he had already accrued.

Neal is a 6-3, 230-pound 4-star defensive end prospect out of Wilson (N.C.) Hunt who has been drawing plenty of attention from college recruiters across the country, and Tuesday was a banner day for Neal.

“I got an Ohio St. offer in the morning, and Clemson offered right after school,” Neal told TigerNet Wednesday. “It is crazy, because both of those schools are not only great schools but have great football programs. It was unbelievable. You only get one chance to go through this process, so I plan on enjoying it.”

Neal said that the Ohio St. offer wasn’t too much of a surprise because former North Carolina head coach Everett Withers is now with the Buckeyes.

“I didn’t expect the Clemson offer at all,” Neal said. “I really expected to get one from Ohio St., because I already knew Coach Withers from when he was at North Carolina. I had gotten to know him pretty well, so I kind of expected that one. But Clemson, I didn’t know that one was coming.”

Neal said he talked to the entire Clemson defensive staff.

“I talked to so many people and it was hard to keep up with who I was talking to,” he said. “They were telling me about themselves, and how good Clemson is. They were telling how the people around Clemson are so nice, and how good the community is.”

And did he already know a little bit about the Tigers?

“I know they won the ACC Championship this past season,” he said. “And I know that when you go to games there it is going to be crazy. They also produce a lot of defensive linemen who make it into the NFL.”

He said he doesn’t have any favorites, but the Tigers and Buckeyes jumped squarely into the mix.

“I like North Carolina, N.C. State and Tennessee,” he said. “And I really like Clemson and Ohio St. I am going to go to the school that wants me the most. I want to go to a place with both good football and good academics, a place where I feel at home and comfortable. I will go to a place to play football, but you never know what can happen. So I want to go somewhere where I feel comfortable with the school.”

Neal has made visit to North Carolina, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Alabama, and hopes to hit South Carolina, Maryland, Wake Forest, Clemson and Ohio State before the end of the spring.

He said that once he takes his visits, he should be ready to make a decision.

“I gotta take my visits, and once I take my visits I should be ready to make up my mind,” he said. “I am going to every place that has offered me. I want to make a decision before the start of the season. I am trying to get this done before the season starts – that is my goal.”

As a junior, Neal recorded 88 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles. As a sophomore, he recorded 96 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

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