As I’ve talked about of the past few days, Syracuse University football’s recruiting for the class of 2016 is picking up some serious steam, ever since the commitment of Robert Washington. Now the only question is, who is next on the Orange coaching staff’s wish list? The answer might be Moe Neal.
Neal is a guy I’ve talked about a bit before, and while there are certainly other prospects – like Gene Coleman, Anthony Brown, and a few other high priority targets in New Jersey – that the staff is working hard to reel in, it looks like Neal may have vaulted to the top of the wish list over the past few days. As Stephen Bailey of the Post-Standard reported, the coaches have been in constant communication with Neal ever since Washington’s verbal.
Neal is a 5-foot-11 athlete who could play various positions on the field, getting most of his reps at running back for Forestview High School in Gastonia, North Carolina. Last season, Neal rushed for more than 2,000 yards but chances are his college future is not at the running back position. If he stays on offense, particularly with the Orange, look for him to move into more of a hybrid/receiver role similar to the transition that Erv Philips is making this offseason. Of course, he could also wind up being an asset to the defensive secondary as well, so the options are certainly open.
Neal is a consensus 3-star talent, and holds offers from the likes of Mississippi State, Syracuse, Boston College, Duke, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. Right now, the website 247sports.com puts Mississippi State as the leader, though Neal has also recently mentioned Duke and Wake as being high on his list.
Neal’s greatest asset on the field is his speed, and no matter where he winds up playing on either offense or defense he could be an exceptional help in the return game. He’s got a reported 40 time of 4.5 seconds but just watching his film it’s easy to see he’s got outstanding lateral quickness and once he turns up the field, he can put on the jets and outrun defenders. At the end of the day, Neal is simply an excellent athlete, evidenced by the fact that he’s generally considered one of the 50 best “athlete” prospects in the class of 2016.
He and Washington are longtime friends, and he’s another member of Team USA and has connections to some of the Orange’s other big targets including Dwayne Haskins and Jared Mayden. Neal and Washington have mentioned the possibility of playing together at the next level, so Orange fans should feel pretty good about where Syracuse’s position with the talented and versatile athlete at this point.