Neal Ready for First Official

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Lakewood (S.C) star J.C. Neal’s visit to Virginia Tech on November 26-28 will be big for a couple of reasons. First, it will be his first official visit. Secondly, it will be the first time he has seen a game at Lane Stadium. Game atmosphere may be the primary reason Neal calls N.C. State a slight leader at this point over Virginia Tech and Maryland.

“Just by going to the games, I’d say N.C. State is a little above the rest,” Neal said. “But I haven’t been to a game at Virginia Tech. I’m going to a game on the 27th of this month. I just hope it’s a good game with a live atmosphere.”

Which game at N.C. State impressed him?

“I went to the Miami game,” Neal said. “They lost but I liked the environment. The crowd was live the whole time.

“I’ve been to a Maryland game also. I went to the Maryland/N.C. State game. It wasn’t that live. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t feel as good as I did at the N.C. State home game.”

Neal’s official visits will be a major help in his decision making process. His relationships with the coaches from these 3 schools will not be a big factor, as Neal says he gets along very well with each staff.

“I have a good relationship with all of them,” Neal said, referring to coaches at his top 3 schools. “The official visits will help me decide. They’ll help me see more of the campus. The stadium environment will be a big factor. Of course my parents want to hear about graduation rates. I’m going to be looking for an environment where I feel I belong and where I’m comfortable.”

Is there any chance Neal decides before making official visits to his top 3?

“I want to take official visits to all 3,” Neal said. “I’ll probably make my decision right after the 3rd visit.”

Following the visit to Virginia Tech, Neal heads to Maryland on December 3-5 and N.C. State on January 7-9. He has set a visit to a 4th school as well – Alabama, but the Crimson Tide don’t appear to be a factor right now.

“I plan on going to Alabama on January the 14th,” Neal said. “But I only have a final 3 really. I’ll probably decide after my 3rd visit.”


Neal was one of the only bright spots for Lakewood in 2004. Lakewood, which suffered a number of serious injuries to key players, finished the year at 2-8. Neal, a 4-star prospect, had 1,400 yards rushing and somewhere between 20-25 touchdowns.