FSU, Georgia now coming after Sandy Creek’s Neal

Rajion Neal has rushed for 1,055 yards and scored 22 TDs for Sandy Creek. (AJC photo)

Rajion Neal has rushed for 1,055 yards and scored 22 TDs for Sandy Creek. (AJC photo)

Mississippi State felt strong enough about Rajion Neal to offer him a scholarship this past summer. Now he’s starting to draw the attention of Florida State and Georgia and the Maroon Dogs may have to fight to keep him.

Neal committed to coach Dan Mullen back in mid-August. But as the 5-foot-11, 200-pound tailback has continued to pile up numbers this season, more interest has come his way. The latest and most intense wave has come from the Seminoles.

“They sure have,” Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker said when asked if FSU had come after Neal hard. “They came last Friday and got some tape and talked to Rajion a little bit. On Sunday they offered him a scholarship. He was pretty grateful for the offer. That’s a prestigious program. Of course, they’ve got some young backs down there and there’s the coaching situation. So he’s just going to sit back and weigh his options and take his time.”

Walker said Neal also got a visit from Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner last week.

“Georgia came in last week, too,” Walker said. “They also wanted to look at some tape and talk to Rajion. He’’s had a big year. I don’t think anybody wants to overlook him.”

Neal has indeed had a big season. Through eight games, the hard-charging senior has rushed 138 times for 1,055 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has another touchdown on a kickoff return for the Fighting Patriots (7-1), who have already clinched a playoff berth out of Region 5-AAAA.

For now at least, Walker said Neal remains committed to Mississippi State.

“He’s kind of taking it all in stride,” Walker said. “He’s going to sit back and see how it all plays out. Coach Mullen and his guys have done a good job so far. He’s got a lot of good options.”

36 comments Add your comment

SC Fan

October 27th, 2009
2:25 pm

I have told everyone this kid is the real deal.He had a high ankle sprain last year that slowed him down.From the end of last season through the summer this kid has worked hard and got stronger and faster and it shows.He has been around the country and competed at those elite camps and combines with rb’s like Lache Seastrunk,Marcus Lattimore,Silas Reed,Mack Brown and Kendrum Maclome and out performed the all.People wanted to know if it would transfer to the field and it has.This kid run can between the tackles with power and get to the outside with speed and man can he catch and run routes like a top notch receiver.Quote “Coach Mullen said he would use Rajion just like or even more like he did with Percy Harvey.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

October 27th, 2009
2:25 pm

jdog

October 27th, 2009
2:33 pm

highest ranking post ever

ratherBgambling

October 27th, 2009
2:48 pm

Why would you chose FSU or UGA? At least MSU is on the rise

Dawg Fan in Grayson

October 27th, 2009
3:33 pm

ratherBgambling, seriously???

god and

October 27th, 2009
3:40 pm

Why go to uga where you’ll be platooned with 5 other guys and carry the ball 3 times per game?

Frank

October 27th, 2009
4:08 pm

ratherBgambling, gtu is in the middle of its 3 year streak per decade and all of you gnats are really full of yourselves. The universe will right itself soon and you will become as irrelevant as you usually are.
THWGT!!!!

Elliot Garcia

October 27th, 2009
4:08 pm

good point ratherBgambling….

Windale

October 27th, 2009
4:24 pm

He will be a Bulldog! ………….. Not sure which one.

Burdell

October 27th, 2009
4:47 pm

Dan Mullen definitely has MSU on the rise but then there’s the Starkville factor. Ugggh. I hear UGA needs a running game…maybe Athens is the answer.

Lilburn Dawg

October 27th, 2009
4:51 pm

“Neal committed to coach Dan Mullen back in mid-August.” OK, somebody please explain to me what this sentence means. I’d like to see the kid go to UGA, too, but does no one honor their commitments any more?? Does commitment mean ‘I promise to come to your school unless something better comes along later’? These are young kids and shouldn’t even be making ‘commitments’ at this stage. People want to know that you are going to stand by your word. I just find the use of the word commitment puzzling in regard to scholarships when it apparently doesn’t mean anything.

ant banks

October 27th, 2009
4:55 pm

i wouldn’t send my 18 yr. old son to Starkville, Ms. It gave me the creeps when i was passin’ thru there. reminds you of the ol’ deep south. however, the campus is great, but if you venture out of the campus environment, good luck. and yes, i am african-american

Frank, Seriously?

October 27th, 2009
5:00 pm

Frank, come on man! If you haven’t noticed Tech actually has a good coach, unlike UGA. So I don’t see where the ” 3 year streak per decade” makes any sense. The only fan base full of themselves besides THE U is Redneck U; that would be UGA of course. UGA= irrelevant. Always have, always will be :)

Tech Sux

October 27th, 2009
5:02 pm

Again folks, predicting how a kid will translate to the college game is mostly just a WAG. With that said, if the UGA coaches see potential that will benefit the program then the should go after him. Just because a kid give a “Verbal” does not make him off limits. I am sure that coachs are going after our “commits” with out second thought.

BigMike Said....

October 27th, 2009
5:28 pm

ElliotGarcia, ratherBgambling, It’s obvious neither of you know little or nothing about football, MSU or UGA? Obviously it’s a no brainer. To say that if a team has one bad season(remains to be seen)like UGA is having, you send one of the best backs in the country to a program that at best can come up with 3 backs that have did o.k. in the NFL is in itself a joke. Let’s TELL THE KID ABOUT THE HISTORY OF uGA RUNNING BACKS, and how they have went on to have successful NFL careers and see what him and his PARENTS think. We could start with Knowshon, and work our way back to Herschel, and in between spinkle in Terrell Davis,Veron Haynes, Patrick Pass, Garrison Hearst, Keith Henderson, Tim Worley, Lars Tate, and even mention that while spliting time in a three back system Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin, and Danny Ware all made it to the NFL. Now throw in the fact that, Patrick Pass, T Davis, V.Haynes just to name a few in the “modern era” are walking around with S.B. Rings on, and lets see where the kid decides his best chance of playing on Sundays. Oh, and by the way mention that MSU has been to two bowls this decade(00′, 07′) and UGA has been to three Sugar Bowls alone and lets see where he thinks he has a better chance in January of playing in a bowl. ratherBgambling I wouldn’t mind gambling with you, because taking your money would be as easy as sunday morning.

BigMike Said....

October 27th, 2009
5:37 pm

Out of all the years we’ve whipped Tech, this year is going to be special. Just think you boys are riding high, but man nothing would make THANKSGIVING MEAL completely digest(O.k. maybe a Budweiser) better than Whipping ya’ll and bringing back some humility to ya’ll. See you in November SISSSSSY’S.

BigMike Said....

October 27th, 2009
5:51 pm

Where you at ratherBgambling? Getting your head together after geeting punked!

Golden Eye

October 27th, 2009
5:51 pm

Its obvious those bad mouthing Starkville have never actually been there, especially since 2005. rather than explain to you why you have no idea what you’re talking about, read the reviews of out of state recruits that have actually visited as well as quotes from Urban Meyer after the game Saturday. Its one thing to judge Starkville off of stereotypes because of what you’ve heard about MS, but until you’ve been there, you cant judge. Just like most recruits, you will definitely be surprised. Second largest jumptron in college football, multi-million dollar indoor practice facility donated by Palmeiro, and a new academic center. Add to that a new coach who has the team in the right direction, Im not sure about Georgia but Ill guarantee we’ll have a better program than FSU in a few years and be competitive with the UGA’s of college football.

DRC

October 27th, 2009
6:35 pm

Big Mike – Jerious Norwood turned out pretty good coming from MSU.

Starring Peter Graves as Capt. Over

October 27th, 2009
6:45 pm

LittleMike: You mean Keith Henderson that sexually assaulted women & Tim Worley with the “coke” habit.
How about the great Jasper Sanks and his equal Caleb King. I think you need to worry about Florida stomping a mudhole in your arse before you worry about November 28.

Diamond333

October 28th, 2009
12:30 am

ant banks you are aware that a third of Starkville is black right? Also I feel pretty certain those numbers were calculated during the school year, it’s probably closer to 50:50 true residents. Not sure how those kind of numbers can make you uncomfortable. Also people need to come pay us a visit before being so free with their stereotypes, our city has become a lot more of a “college town” these past few years.

Red Dog 77

October 28th, 2009
12:43 am

Something tells me Big Mike is not worried about Fla. mudholes or Nov. 28, and Im not either. Give em hell Big Mike!!

RDHDawg

October 28th, 2009
9:02 am

Starkville has changed A LOT in the last few years. Downtown is booming. It is a great college town. The campus is really nice and the athletic facilities are some of the nicest in the SEC. The stadium is small (like 55 to 60K) but it’s still a tough environment with all those damn cowbells. I can see why a kid would chose and up and coming coach and a new offense over a melting FSU. Plus, rumor has it that he’s POed that UGA didn’t notice him before. When he committed to MSU he said he was doing it to prove a point to the “big boys” who passed him up.

john

October 28th, 2009
10:06 am

what is this kids 40 time??

Simply a dawg

October 28th, 2009
11:09 am

Last time I checked UGA needs running backs. Looking forward to Ken Malcome coming and I have the feeling he’s going to be a beast.

SC Fan

October 28th, 2009
11:28 am

John his 40 is 4.39 and he is 5″11 210 lbs.

GT79

October 28th, 2009
12:47 pm

Ant bank, maybe you should come back to Starkesville and stay a while-if you know what I mean.

Flo-Ri-Duh!

October 28th, 2009
1:00 pm

When you listed all those great RB’s you left off one of the best – he is from Texas and he started in the NFL for almost 10 years as I recall with the NY Giants. Do you know who I am talking about? This is a test.

Loganville HS

October 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

Rodney Hampton – Go daawgs!

Chip Towers

October 28th, 2009
3:34 pm

Flo-Ri-Duh!: Yes, Rodney Hampton is a good example. I knew him very well while he was at Georgia. No Herschel but the second-best back I personally covered, and that included Garrison Hearst, Knowshon Moreno, Tim Worley, Keith Henderson, Terrell Davis, etc., from 1984 on. . . .

Speaking of backs from Texas, I don’t think anybody has mentioned Ricky Williams. Pretty stout right there.

Monticello Dawg

October 28th, 2009
5:08 pm

I am a Georgia fan, but see no need to run down Miss State and Starkville. Starkville is not a metropolis, but I would think that in itself has pros and cons. In addition, the state of Mississippi gets more negative press than deserved. On a positive note, the state consistently ranks #1 or near the top on the charitable giving index, which uses a number of criteria to determine the most generous state as far as individuals donating to charity. On the other hand, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey are veritable tightwads in giving their own money, though their politicians are all to eager to pass out other people’s money.

On another note, batten the hatches, Yellow Jackets, the Dogs are coming for you, and will not be taking prisoners.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2009
9:22 pm

Burdell – Yeah, I’ve been wondering: just what is a “Stark”? Did they mean it to be “Storkville”, but somebody mis-engraved it on the old city hall?

All levity aside, they have a nice stadium, great fans and a super video board.

Monticello – You are right about Mass., NY, and NJ. I’ve lived in all three, and really, I’d prefer Starkville except for the Berkshire mountains in northwestern Mass.

Not Welcome Here

October 28th, 2009
9:31 pm

Monticello Dawg, I won’t be taken prisoner because I do not drive without a license and run red lights.

Paddy

October 29th, 2009
8:41 am

Glad to hear about the improvements at Miss St. Have been there about a half dozen times but not since the late 80’s. One of the most remote colleges to get to. “Can’t get there from here”, type of deal. Alot like trying to get to Blacksburg, Va. I hope he does not choose FSU. More problems down there than can be fixed in 2 or 3 years in my opinion. Their verbal commits did have them listed for a while in the top 10, but not anymore. Their verbals are droping like flies with more to come from what I am hearing.

Sonny Parker

October 29th, 2009
4:04 pm

The Golden Triangle Industrial Park is located eight miles from the Mississippi State campus, between Starkville and Columbus, it is the fastest growng industrial region in the nation with the GTR airport, 2 steel mills, Peterbilt truck plant, 3 aerospace industries that produce helicopters, and industrial park on campus that engineers research and produces microchips for the electronics industry. The Tombigee Water Way transports goods and services to the port in Mobile Ohio/Tn and beyond. An additional investment of $100 mil planned for the park with tenants ready to built, cheap TVA electric power, with nuclear plant in consideration. We try to keep things on the QT, but the word is getting out, because HWY 25 is 4 laned from Jackson to Starkville/Columbus. A community college serves the areas as well as MUW, a formerly all girls school in Columbus, home of a major airforce base. If you are not a resident , please look elsewhere for employment, the locals are well trained and enjoying the good life , but a strong veterans recruitment serves the area well if you know of a former service man or woman.

Brian swagged out miller

March 11th, 2010
9:03 am

rajion is my cousin he had a great year and now is going to Tennesee a great SEC team i thinnk he is gonna start and make it to the pros so i wish yhu all the luck Rajion Have FUn IN College