RB Neal says recruitment is open

Rajion Neal is no longer a firm commitment to Mississippi State.

The 5-foot-11, 214-pound running back from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., told the News Sentinel on Tuesday his recruitment is “open.”

Neal visited Tennessee last weekend and said he will seriously consider signing with the Vols on National Signing Day on Feb. 3.

“It affected me a lot,” Neal said of his trip to UT. “It’s a place I have always been fond of. Going there was a good experience for me and I enjoyed myself.”

Neal said he could see himself playing in UT’s offense.

That picture was painted by head coach Derek Dooley and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

“They said this was a place where I was wanted and needed and a place I could fit in with the offense and the program,” Neal said.

Neal said he hopes to make a final decision by early next week.

He said he has no leader and is unsure if he’ll visit another school this weekend.

Neal’s only other visit was to Mississippi State on Jan. 15.

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Comments » 90

nocleats writes:

Get Him !!!!

Mule_Days_King writes:

How good is this young man?

BTW, one week out of NSD. Is it me or are more players putting out info on where they will or won't go? Can't seem to remember this much media activity by recruits before but I might be wrong.

Cldvols1 writes:

Yep, he's a Vol!

rockytopatl writes:

Sweet! I never could understand why anyone, even a Mississippian, would want to go to school in Starkville.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to rockytopatl:

Sweet! I never could understand why anyone, even a Mississippian, would want to go to school in Starkville.

You are correct my friend. I have been to Starkville a grand total of one time, in 1990. I still feel greasy.

volnut64 writes:

Just watched video of this recruit and am impressed! Thick, compact, quick feet and good speed. Sign him!

BigBadVol writes:

Check this kid out! Looks like the real deal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVZ1I-...

Bkvols88 writes:

go get him CDD:)

Orange_Crush writes:

Seeing all these guys at least considering Tennessee is very encouraging. Dooley and (uncomplete)staff have convinced a lot of recruits to stay and or consider Tennessee in only a few weeks...What are they going to be able to do with a years time to work on those young men? The future looks promising...and we haven't even completed our coaching staff!

orangezone writes:

More depth at RB. Bring him on in Coach!

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Coach Dooley is probably waiting until after NSD. Once we hit Feb 4th, expect a complete staff to be announced soon thereafter.
I imagine since he is personally recruiting these guys that he is putting any fears or concerns these guys have about his coaching staff to rest.

stayingorange writes:

This guy is a highlight reel out of the backfield and on return teams. Go get him.

DT4Vols writes:

Lane who?...Dooley is the man!

scores4fun writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

for some reason i am starting to believe we are waiting for someone from the colts or saints coaching staff. i think thats why it is taking so long! not real sure tho

PrimeTime writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Check this kid out! Looks like the real deal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVZ1I-...

No doubt, sign him up. I counted twenty td's and i didn't even finish the video!

USNVOL writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Check this kid out! Looks like the real deal.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVZ1I-...

Nice video,looks like a great running back.

OrangePsyched writes:

Sign em up coach! We will have a top ten recruiting class. The staff we have is doing great and I love hearing these recruits talking about it feeling like family here. Players should really have bond after all that has gone on and hopefully that translates into their effort on the field. The world thinks Rocky Top was left desolate a couple weeks ago but we are proving hard to kill. GBO!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Anybody know his rankings on Scout and Rivals?? Just curious.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

This guy can flat out run. Please come to Rocky Top!!!!! You will be glad you did, I promise!
VOLS....TCB.....KOKO.....GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nocleats writes:

in response to scores4fun:

for some reason i am starting to believe we are waiting for someone from the colts or saints coaching staff. i think thats why it is taking so long! not real sure tho

Im not so sure, If you watched or choose to watch the replay of Coach Dooleys First press conferance, he said very clearly, that the local press and even current players would not see very much of him until after NSD. That is because he would be recruiting. I believe that is exactley what he has been focusing on and why he was hired so quickly.. He called a couple of long time friends but word "leaked out" to the press and those deals got blown up by outsiders.. He has now gone back to task of recruiting. It is what he said he would do all along, we just need to sit back and support. GBO!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

You are correct my friend. I have been to Starkville a grand total of one time, in 1990. I still feel greasy.

In all fairness, there are some nice pastures and big cows around the Starkville area.

Fryinpansvols writes:

Rivals ranks him as 4* back in their top ten for his position. Come to the Vol Nation young man. GBO!

roloyo writes:

in response to DT4Vols:

Lane who?...Dooley is the man!

Nope, still not ready for that kool-aid

nocleats writes:

For everyone sweating over the ranking and stars of recruits, check out this roster and look where most of these players went to College. For every powerhouse program there are 3 non powers.. just saying !! GBO
http://www.colts.com/sub.cfm?page=roster

VOLsince68 writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Anybody know his rankings on Scout and Rivals?? Just curious.

I think I read somewhere that he was a 3* player, but I don't put a lot of stock in those stars. From the video, he has great speed and runs downhill. I like his style. I really hope we get him.

GO VOLS!!!!!!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football...

Don't know how good the opposing teams are in his videos, but this guy is playing on a higher level. He really seems to have it all. If he signs with us, then we definitely should celebrate without worrying about any of the other RBs that didn't. I'm no expert, but Neal looks that good to me.

CincyVol15 writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yikes, that's a bold statement given Brown's role was limited due to being a Frosh and Hardesty tearing it up. I am willing to bet you won't be saying that when he is the main back this fall...

volsfan74 writes:

As I have said in previous post, I live in Peachtree City, Ga. which is 5 minutes from Tyrone, Ga. this kid is the real deal. BTW - Sandy Creek is a 5A High School so he is going up against some real comp. He would be a great surprise get for us.

rubbervol writes:

Tennessee needs you James...GBO

dvols writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

one more!

Orange_Crush writes:

in response to rubbervol:

Tennessee needs you James...GBO

His name is Rajion Neal...

murrayvol writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

In all fairness, there are some nice pastures and big cows around the Starkville area.

And Miss St has one of the finest agriculture programs anywhere. Good forestry school as well. And they have about 9 really good looking girls.

That's about it.

DarthWilson writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just like interior D-linemen, as many as u can get.

murrayvol writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least 1 more.

DERELICK_MY_VOLS writes:

350 lb. Bench & 500 lb. Squat w/ 4.44 40yd. dash.....KID IS A BEAST....and is strong as an OX....power to run it up the gut or the speed to break it outside...great pick up if we've done enough to steal him!

We do need the depth....IMO if Bryce Brown has a big sophmore and junior year he is gone to the N.F.L. with no senior season....snag'em and tag'em while recruits want the Vols to bag'em I say!

UneducatedRedneck writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a fair question, and obviously depth is a priority in the backfield, but also we need a wealth of playmakers at punt return and kickoff return positions, guys who could possibly run a Wildcat formation, and even running backs that can be converted to wide receiver. If I recall, Gerald Jones was recruited as a running back.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

In all fairness, there are some nice pastures and big cows around the Starkville area.

Not been to Starkville or Jackson, but have been to Columbia which is just an hour up the road. Nice little town. Tiniest little airport I've ever seen though.

AncientVol writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I read that Chuck Smith had been non-renewed as line coach with NY Jets and had then accepted defensive line Coach job with UT. Is this true?

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to VolsRLU:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cow tipping and chewing tobacco spitting contests.

gotvols writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you have to have at minimum four to be competitive. probably loose at least one to grade eligibility and at least one to injury. That would leave you with two......

Hopefully Dooley will keep them clean and out of trouble....

With that said.... we need two more to keep a solid rotation... may even get a redshirt if he is good enough and can wait...

DarthWilson writes:

Just watched this kids video and can only say wow. maybe we can get his teammate #88, some nice downfield blocking.

DarthWilson writes:

just joking about #88

Caspian writes:

in response to UneducatedRedneck:

That's a fair question, and obviously depth is a priority in the backfield, but also we need a wealth of playmakers at punt return and kickoff return positions, guys who could possibly run a Wildcat formation, and even running backs that can be converted to wide receiver. If I recall, Gerald Jones was recruited as a running back.

Running backs can be converted to linebacker, too.

gotvols writes:

in response to grvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are stupid....

"athletic looking black guys..."

You are stupid....

What kind of comment is that. It doesn't matter if they are green... or blue... it makes no difference. man, I wish they would give some kind of test to qualify to get on here....

Somebody must have left the website up on a public computer...

huntined#565710 writes:

This guy will be a kick off and punt return guru.. we need a little special team...

wayoutwill writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wonder if you ever heard of a back named Travis Stephens?He was "one more" that some thought would never see playing time;somebody help me on that tailback that led us to the title and a sugar bowl comeback win over the Va. Cavs way back under John Majors,can't remember his name but he was buried at 4th string and due to injuries and dismissals,he was another one of those "one more" tailbacks that was thought to never have a shot at playing time?Free tickets to the person that can gimme his name first!Just kidding,but don't make me go 'net surfing for the answer!

ORNGFACTOR writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

Coach Dooley is probably waiting until after NSD. Once we hit Feb 4th, expect a complete staff to be announced soon thereafter.
I imagine since he is personally recruiting these guys that he is putting any fears or concerns these guys have about his coaching staff to rest.

Everything points to keeping it close to the vest. This may even sound ridiculous but in this day of recruiting,etc.. I wouldnt doubt inside leakage...the extremly positive thing is recruits are looking at TN with a different look now. Hats off to Coach Dooley for doing an almost impossible job of picking up the pieces day one.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Every class should have at least one running back. I hope ours is Neal.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to ORNGFACTOR:

Everything points to keeping it close to the vest. This may even sound ridiculous but in this day of recruiting,etc.. I wouldnt doubt inside leakage...the extremly positive thing is recruits are looking at TN with a different look now. Hats off to Coach Dooley for doing an almost impossible job of picking up the pieces day one.

Quiet resolve from the new coach; recruits and parents alike can see it. Wouldn't doubt a leak from someone not on the staff in the Athletic Dept.

RegentVol writes:

in response to Vols_Man:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think the reason these coaching vacancies aren't affecting recruiting for UT right now is because we aren't heavily pursuing anymore athletic skill position players (with some exceptions). I read an article today (sorry no link) that said coaching vacancies on the defensive side don't matter as much to defensive recruits because they're not going to be affected as much by a potential change of scheme with a new coach. The recruits that get scared off by coaching vacancies are mainly offensive skill position players who want their certain number of touches and playing time, and that all depends on the scheme that an offensive coach implements. Luckily, we don't have any critical vacancies on the offensive side. Chaney will largely have the same scheme. With defense, LB's, DB's, DL's, (etc), all get their chance to contribute and shine in pretty much any scheme - Cover 2, 3-4, 4-3, etc.

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