May 30, 2011

Neal continues to add offers

McKeesport (Pa.) outside linebacker Tyrone Neal has continued to see his recruitment heat up as offers keep rolling in from across the country. The Red Raiders were in on the ground floor with the 2012 defensive target, and to this point they're still in good standing with him.

"I think Texas Tech is really high on his list right now. Obviously with our other two guys (Branden Jackson and Delvon Simmons) going there who are really excited about their program, it's intriguing to him," according to his head coach Jim Ward. "The amount of interest they've shown him from day one, and the fact that they were the first to offer, has Texas Tech in a really good position with him. I think he feels like they definitely fit a lot of the criteria that he's looking for in a school."

"He wants to play early, as a lot of kids do, and he wants to go where it's warm. We know it's warm in West Texas. He also wants to play in a great conference, against great competition. So Texas Tech has more than a few things going for them that are attractive to T.J."

Ward mentioned Tech alongside Tennessee, NC State, Illinois, Florida, Syracuse, Pitt, and Nebraska as the programs recruiting Neal the hardest right now. It may be a while before he's able to visit West Texas, but it sounds as thought it's likely to happen at some point.

"I believe he'll be going to Tennessee next weekend. He's probably going to visit a few places that would be within a relatively short drive," Ward said. "He probably won't make it to Lubbock this summer because of the distance, but he's talked about going to see Tennessee, and maybe Syracuse. He's talked about NC State some as well, and Florida also."

"I talked to him the other day about which schools were standing out to him and Texas Tech was one of the first he mentioned, so I would believe that they'll be in serious consideration for an official visit next fall."

Assistant coach Robert Prunty is recruiting the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder, and he's made a trip to the Keystone State on more than one occasion this spring.

"Coach Prunty has been up twice since the evaluation period started. Due to the rules he's not able to have a whole lot of contact with him," Ward said. "T.J. knows that he's been to the school twice, so that obviously means a great deal to him. He's still on very good terms with Texas Tech and he thinks very highly of Coach Prunty, just as I do."

Aside from Tech, Neal also holds offers from Auburn, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, NC State, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, and West Virginia.

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