April 26, 2012

McNeil talks recruiting

Versatility only begins to describe Josh McNeil.

The Durham (NC) Hillside tight end measures up to 6-foot-5 and tips the scales at a lean 240 pounds. He can give a traditional look beside an offensive tackle, line up as a wide receiver or be motioned into the backfield as an extra blocker.

Now it makes sense why schools are clamoring for McNeil, especially after a stellar junior season that saw him pull in 70 passes for 700 yards and eight touchdowns. Rivals.com lists 16 schools that have offered him a scholarship, but McNeil said he has close to 35.

"Everything is really picking up for me right now," McNeil said. "I think I lead the state in offers. I'm just trying to let everything slow down before I even decide to make a list."

McNeil is rated as a three-star recruit and the nation's No. 13 tight end.

He is trying to figure out which school needs and wants him the most. McNeil said the first thing he looks at is a team's depth chart. He believes Florida, Georgia, Miami (Fla.), Tennessee and Vanderbilt are a few programs he could go to and have an impact instantly.

While he insists that no one has an edge in his recruitment, McNeil, who was once committed to East Carolina, said the Pirates will always have a special place in his heart.

"It was my first offer, so if anybody would have an edge it would have to be East Carolina," McNeil said.

Wake Forest has also tried to work its way into the mix for McNeil. He made the trip to Winston-Salem Saturday, Feb. 25 for Wake's Junior Day. During the visit he spent the most time with offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Steed Lobotzke.

"He's really cool," McNeil said. "He tells me I could come to Wake Forest and make an immediate impact. I like a coach that keeps it straight up with me and no sugarcoats."

McNeil said he may see some time at outside linebacker along with his primary duties at tight end in the fall. He also played basketball Hillside after helping the football team to the third round of the state playoffs and an 11-2 record.

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