Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Davonte Neal a no-show for announcement
By Edward Aschoff
All that waiting was apparently for nothing because there's more waiting to come for four fan bases -- and a large number of elementary school students, who were held out of class for an unspectacular spectacle that didn't really take place.
Tuesday morning, ESPNU 150 athlete Davonte Neal, who is rated as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2012, was supposed to finally sign his letter of intent to one of four schools -- Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina or Notre Dame. Nearly three weeks after national signing day, four coaching staffs (im)patiently waited from afar as friends, family, media members and 600 school children waited inside Neal's old elementary school, Kyrene de la Esperanza, for his decision.
It -- and Neal -- never came. Neal was a no-show for his ceremony, extending what has already become a lengthy recruiting story.
Here's what the Arizona Daily Star said about the situation:
The issue, apparently, is a power struggle between Neal and his father, Luke. Luke Neal has been pro-Notre Dame in recent weeks, while Davonte has been leaning toward the UA.
Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez made recruiting Neal a priority shortly after he was hired Nov. 21 as Mike Stoops' permanent replacement. Rodriguez hired Charlie Ragle, Neal's coach at Chaparral, as Arizona's new liaison to in-state high schools. The Wildcats then signed two Chaparral players, linebacker Cody Ippolito and defensive end Dylan Cozens, with hopes Neal would follow.
The chatter surrounding Neal is apparently focusing on two schools -- Notre Dame and Arizona. While I haven't spoken with him or anyone associated with him, I do know that when it comes to recruiting anything is possible. More time to think means more time to question and break down things. I'm not saying any of the other schools on his list, including Arkansas, will weigh into his decision, but you never know.
Maybe he takes one last look at that Arkansas letter or that North Carolina logo. Maybe that Arkansas offense looks more attractive after another look.
But no matter what goes through his mind, he and his family need to be clear about one thing: This is Davonte Neal's decision. He is the one who will be lacing up his cleats at the college level next year. He will bet he one heading off to college because of the decision he makes in the near future.
This is Neal's decision and his alone.