Coach Brian Kelly received his 17th (and final) commitment for the 2012 recruiting class today from WR/ATH Davonte Neal (Paradise Valley, AZ - Chaparral). Neal is the two-time reigning Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Arizona and has been the focus of Irish fan obsession since National Signing Day. He is listed at 5'9", 170 lbs and runs a 4.49 40 yard dash.
Davonte is-simply put-a playmaker on either side of the football. He played both WR and CB in high school and could play either at a very high level in college. He is electric with the ball in his hands and had over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving during his senior campaign.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 5 star (#1 AZ, #1 ATH), #8 Overall (85 Grade)
Rivals - 4 star (#3 AZ, #17 WR), #107 Overall (5.9 Grade)
Scout - 4 star (#5 CB), #74 Overall
247Sports- 4 star (#1 AZ, #6 ATH), #56 Overall (96 Grade)
MaxPreps - 4 star (#4 Wingback), #67 Overall
Highlights after the jump.
Davonte Neal Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)
Davonte is just too talented to not see the field as a freshman. I think he starts the year as one of the kick returners and should compete as a punt returner as well. There have been reports that the staff wants to use as many as seven WRs in a regular rotation, so expect him to see some time as the slot receiver this season.
With the electric play-making ability, I fully expect plenty of highlight reel material over the next few years from Mr. Neal. He is the kind of player that puts a lot of stress on opposing defenses just by being on the field. He reminds me a lot of Golden Tate, but more polished as a receiver coming out of high school. He will be very exciting to watch for the next few falls.
Welcome to Notre Dame Davonte!