The Syracuse University football team got a commitment from one of its highest priorities today, landing speedy express back Moe Neal. The 5-foot-11 North Carolina native chose Syracuse over Wake Forest, and also had offers from Duke, Boston College, and Mississippi State, among others. This signifies an immense win on the recruiting trail for head coach Scott Shafer and his staff and wraps up an excellent week as the third commit of the week, along with Monquavion Brinson and Jamal Holloway.

Neal was one of the most talented and highly sought after players on the board for the Orange this year, and adds a home run threat to Tim Lester’s new offense and, in particularly, a potential immediate impact player at the express back, or “h-back” position. Syracuse currently has Ervin Philips as the top hybrid on the roster, with incoming freshman Tyrone Perkins moving from running back to h-back. Outside of those two, the Orange are limited in natural fits for the position, which makes landing Neal such a huge win.

Syracuse has also brought in Georgia athlete Darius Stubbs as part of the 2016 class to play hybrid, so now the Orange will be able to shift the wide receivers (such as Ben Lewis) back to more natural positions going forward.

Additionally, Neal is a big time recruiting victory because of his close ties with Robert Washington, the most prized recruit in the Syracuse class of 2016. Washington and Neal are longtime, close friends, and getting a verbal commitment from Neal should help alleviate any fears that some skeptics have that Syracuse will be able to hang onto its future 44, Washington. With Neal on board, it also helps strengthen the possibility of Syracuse landing 2017 cornerback Aapri Washington, as well as keeping hope alive to flip defensive tackle Christian Colon, who is currently a Penn State commitment. Washington, Neal, and Colon have all previously mentioned the possibility of playing together, and with two of the three now pledged to the Orange, and with DT such a pressing need for Syracuse, it makes the idea of trying to flip Colon even more intriguing.

But Neal is obviously worth a hell of a lot more than just his connections to other Syracuse recruits. He’s a dynamic athlete who will be a fierce playmaker in the open field, and is going to be a home run threat every time he touches the ball. He boasts elite speed (recently being clocked at 4.39 in the 40) and agility, and gives the Orange the type of perimeter athleticism it needs to compete in the ACC.

Along with Washington and Rex Culpepper, this is arguably the biggest recruiting victory of the 2016 cycle for the Syracuse football coaching staff. This is an enormous pickup for the Orange.

Thanks to Coach Robert Washington, Sr. for providing this video.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish