Ever since the commitment of elite recruit Robert Washington last week, Syracuse University football fans have been waiting for the next domino to fall. Well, that second domino still hasn’t fallen but it might have gotten a little closer to toppling today when Moe Neal named the Orange as one of his top five schools.

Neal is an explosive athlete and close friend of Washington’s, and there’s a growing feeling among fans and recruiting analysts that if he were to select Syracuse, it would really put the wheels in motion on Robert Washington’s plan to restore the glory to Orange football.

Neal is one of the most exciting athletes that Syracuse is recruiting this season, with the versatility to play either running back, wide receiver, or defensive back. Chances are that if he winds up at Syracuse, he’ll fill a similar role to the one Ervin Philips is taking on this year as more of a hybrid/H-back. And sticking with Philips, I think that if you watch Neal’s highlights from last season and then go back and look at the high school highlights for the rising Orange sophomore, you’ll see a lot of similarities.

In fact, the similarities between Neal and Philips are abundant, from their respective sizes (5-foot-10, 160 for Neal and 5-foot-11, 170 as a high school senior), to their reported 40 times (4.54 for Neal, 4.58 for Philips), to the fact that when you watch them with the ball you feel like there’s no way they aren’t faster than that. Like Philips, Neal is quick, agile, and can change direction and fields in an instant. He’s dangerous in space, and is adept at making tacklers miss with highlight reel jukes and spin moves.

Right now there’s no timetable for Neal’s actual commitment, though he has indicated in the past that he’s hoping to decide before his senior season. If the momentum from Washington’s verbal keeps pushing forward, he could hopefully be committing to Syracuse sooner than later. Fingers crossed.

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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