Sandy Creek’s Neal soon to decide between three schools

Sandy Creek High's Rajion Neal has narrowed his choices to Kentuckly, Louisville and Mississippi State.

Rajion Neal is getting close to making a final decision on his college choice. But the Sandy Creek tailback is having a hard time pulling the trigger.

“I haven’t set a definite deadline,” Neal said Wednesday. “My parents are still up in the air and have some questions and we’re still doing some research. I planned to do it this weekend but now I’m not sure. I’d like to but I just don’t know.”

Neal’s problem is he has too many good options. He’s narrowed his decision down to (in no particular order) Kentucky, Louisville and Mississippi State. And all three want him badly.

What’s not to like? At 5-11, 190-pounds, Neal is a prototypical SEC tailback. He has legitimate SEC speed with a 4.4-second, 40-yard dash, according to Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker. Walker said Neal has “kind of flown below the radar” after an ankle injury limited his production to 800 yards rushing and 8 TDs as a junior. But he’s been impressive at the summer camps to which he was invited.

“He’s probably going to play in the SEC when it all gets said and done,” Walker said. “Georgia and Georgia Tech looked at him. But I don’t know that he fits in Tech’s offense. He’s kind of in between a B back and an A back. Georgia liked him but has some other backs they like. Florida probably talked to him more than any of the big ones. But he has some really good opportunities.”

Walker said new Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen “really liked [Neal] from the beginning and has probably recruited him the hardest. They like his size and ability to run and catch the ball. He has great hands. We probably don’t throw the ball to him enough.”

Kentucky head-coach-in-waiting Joker Phillips — “who’s been doing damage in Georgia for years,” Walker said — has been recruiting Neal hard for the Wildcats. Neal attended Louisville’s elite camp a few weeks ago.

In the end, Neal said he knows he can’t go wrong.

“I know I’m very fortunate to be in this situation, to have a handful of offers to choose from,” Neal said. “It makes me feel good. Now I just have to decide where I’ll be most comfortable and who has a good situation to play possibly as a freshman.”

29 comments Add your comment

Tom

August 13th, 2009
11:52 am

Good luck to Rajion!

Burdell

August 13th, 2009
12:37 pm

“At 5-11, 190-pounds, Neal is a prototypical SEC tailback”

Yeah, we like them bigger and faster in the ACC.

Go Diesel!! Go Jackets!!

skee bo

August 13th, 2009
1:11 pm

Burdell for your info,he is 5″11.5 210lbs and has been clocked at 4.39 in the 40.This kid is an athelete that many people have overlooked. He has been to all the major camps and always been in the top 5 performers.Ga and Ga Tech not looking at this kid is a joke. Hands down this kid is way better than both Collins and Malcome.Coach Mullen had this kid on his radar when he was at Fla,he is just gonna come in and steal this kid and use him like he used Percy Harvin last year.

Gerald Ball

August 13th, 2009
1:22 pm

skee bo:

Neal would likely have gotten an offer from Georgia Tech – and be on his way there – if Tech had more than 12 to 15 scholarships. But it looks like they are using their few available slots in anticipation of future losses at DB and on their offensive and defensive lines.

Burdell

August 13th, 2009
1:36 pm

Not knocking the kid…just knocking the messenger.

SC Fan

August 13th, 2009
2:19 pm

Skee Bo im not quite sure what your basing any of that on. Iv watched the kid play for years and his elite combine performances havnt really translated to the football field. This may be due in part to his injury and Sandy Creek not having a very good line. Either way your comments are a bit silly. Unfortunately he may be running behind a less than stellar line again this year. It will be important for Coach Walker to find creative ways to get this kid the football. Im looking for big things from him this year. I

SC Fan

August 13th, 2009
2:23 pm

Sandy Creek is loaded pretty much every where but offensive line. Watch out for the Patriots folks.

Ehsanul Islam Sadequee

August 13th, 2009
2:24 pm

He would never see the field at Tech. Have fun losing a lot at any of your three choices.

SC Fan

August 13th, 2009
2:27 pm

Slow down techie… If you guys got this kid he would be one of the better players on your team. One win and look how arrogant yall have gotten. Cant wait until November when you get put back in your place. Rivals ranks this kid as one of the top 25 players in Ga tech would love to have him.

skee bo

August 13th, 2009
2:38 pm

SC fan i dont know why you say my comments are silly which as matter of act all my comments can be closely researched and find that they are true.This kid has the best hands on the team. You must find ways to get him the ball.All im saying this kid works hard and his hard work is paying off. Im looking for him to have a monster year rushing and recieving the ball. Even Coach Walker said in the article they dont pass him the ball enough.

SC Fan

August 13th, 2009
3:08 pm

Skee Bo the kid is a very good football player. All I am saying is watching him week to week last year he wasnt as dominant as an elite back typically is. Sandy Creek plays in a fairly week region and I expected more on the field from some one who puts up the kind of numbers he does at the combines and camps. Like I said he could be a victim of playing behind a poor offensive line. As a Sandy Creek fan obviously I am hoping for Rajion to take the next step and truly be that game changing player.

SC Fan

August 13th, 2009
3:11 pm

Oh and by the way the majority of your comments were your opinion and cant be researched. I highly doubt there’s a credible recruiting site out there where you read UGA not recruiting this kid is a joke.

skee bo

August 13th, 2009
3:38 pm

SC Fan very funny, you know what i meant. His height , wt ,40 times,and being among the elite at the camps. You are right about one thing, Rajion must get it done on the feild to show that he is worthy of being an elite player.I can see we both know it can happen if he stays healthy and the o-line performs good enough for him to get some time to make something happen.

DAWG

August 13th, 2009
4:56 pm

Sounds like a good fit for any program.
Just don’t go to the Goof Ball(a.k.a. The Barnum and Bailey show at UT) in orange, and you should be just fine!

smokie

August 13th, 2009
7:16 pm

see how scared of Kiffin the bulldog fans are? Kiffin hasn’t even coached a game yet & they are scared to death of him.

Gerald Ball

August 13th, 2009
9:25 pm

smokie:

Yeah, Volunteer fans. Just keep telling yourselves that. Right up until the season starts and the reality check sets in, and you realize that you have a legacy coach who would probably be coaching high school football (or working as a stockbroker or something) if Monte Kiffin wasn’t his dad. Good luck against SEC defenses without that USC talent, Lane. 5 star players on every position and still couldn’t put a TD on the board against 6-7 UCLA. Win that game, and USC destroys Ohio State for the national title. Yeah, SEC fans are real scared of Kiffin and his long track record of accomplishments.

DaltonDAWG706

August 13th, 2009
11:11 pm

The reason the dawgs arent looking at him is because we already have a full load at HB & 18 verbal commits as it is. If it werent for those reasons Im sure we would be happy to have him and storm Johnson likewise because both are good.

DaltonDAWG706

August 13th, 2009
11:13 pm

shoot just dont go to the gaytors and i will route for you UTk doesnt worry me in the least.

puff

August 14th, 2009
8:01 am

Chip, I know you don’t write the headlines. On behalf of the grammar lobby, I ask you to pass this along. He is deciding “among” three schools. If he narrows his choices to two, he will decide “between” them.

SC_Dad

August 14th, 2009
11:12 am

I’ve been watching Rajion since he was a freshman I think he hasn’t shown his true potential yet. Its about POTENTIAL in college.

Remember Calvin Johnson? His numbers at Sandy Creek put him in second place in total receptions and yardage behind Braxton Lane, who didn’t even play his senior year. The stats I saw may not have included 2008 numbers so he might even be 3rd on the list. Calvin turned out to be a pretty phenomenal receiver in college!

I think Rajion could be a sleeper.

GT fan ...

August 14th, 2009
1:43 pm

SC fan ….. GT won 9 games last season, not one.

Skee bo …. it’s in the article. His coach said both GT & GA looked at him. He [coach] said he thinks RN didn’t fit in GT’s system, and that GA is hoping to get other guys. But they both did look at the kid.

Looking at his physical tools who knows, in 3 years lots of bigger programs might be regretting not offering RN.

Gerald Ball

August 14th, 2009
1:47 pm

DaltonDog:

Kentucky should worry you. They have a big time dual threat true freshman QB from Indiana, and by this I mean not a Tyrod Taylor but a guy who can actually throw. He won’t play this year, but he will next year, and if they surround that kid with good athletes, Kentucky will score a lot of points and be a problem for teams just like they were for LSU in 2007, almost knocked them out of the national title picture (I know, sore spot for UGA fans, but look, UGA didn’t even win their own division OK, and where LSU beat Tennessee with their backup QB, Tennessee ran UGA out of the building).

Also, when Joker Philips takes over the head coaching job in a couple of years, well let’s just say that he is going to be REALLY SUCCESSFUL recruiting the Atlanta area. Kentucky will never win a national title in football, but if they keep going the way that they are, they can get to where they win 9 or 10 games a year. Which is, to be honest, not much worse than where UGA is right now under Richt. I say that having Kentucky (or South Carolina) and Georgia Tech winning 9 games a year with Georgia athletes that the Bulldogs now consider themselves too high and mighty for is not a good position to be in. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between winning 9 games a year with Georgia kids and winning 10 games a year with guys like Orson Charles, Knowshon Moreno, Joe Cox, Logan Gray and Matt Stafford despite how much UGA fans may wish to convince themselves otherwise.

Sammy Jones

August 14th, 2009
4:12 pm

KY, Miss State and Louisville would be major powers if they were in the SEC.

Need Proof

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CGzIME5e70

Sammy Jones

August 14th, 2009
4:13 pm

I mean were in the ACC!! sorry

Dawg 1

August 15th, 2009
1:23 am

Good luck young man. Education first, football second. I hope you are not even aware of this blog. But if you are – ignore the idiots. We wish you the best.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

August 17th, 2009
10:31 pm

We all need a vacation from Chip Towers!

Ga Tech Official

August 18th, 2009
1:46 pm

Here to let all you guys no watch out for Fayette County Running Back (Kendall Palmore) this 2009 season. The kid has it all from speed (4.42) to strength (365 bench max) (520 squat max) and incredible moves.

ddfaa

August 19th, 2009
2:52 pm

its football season

joe drutts

October 6th, 2009
10:47 pm

Enter your comments herefor all those talking about sandycreeks o line not being very good wait til next year folks the line is coming !!