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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Davonte Neal commits to Notre Dame

Keith Hickman-Perfetti
Rich Rodriguez speaks during the press conference to officially announce his appointment to the head coach of UA football, on 22 Nov. 2011. Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

After weeks of drama and a scheduled Tuesday morning press conference that was called off, Davonte’ Neal announced that he will sign a National Letter of Intent to play football at Notre Dame for head coach Brian Kelly.

Neal, a standout at Scottsdale Chaparral High School, made his announcement from Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School, where school officials had pulled around 600 students out of class earlier in the day to attend a press conference that was ultimately canceled because of a “family emergency.”

Neal, a 5-foot-10 175-pounder, is listed as athlete by every recruiting service but will likely play wide receiver or cornerback in college. His final four schools were Arizona, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Arkansas.

Neal originally delayed his commitment from National Signing Day on Feb. 1 because he wanted to take a closer look at the UA.

Neal rushed for 1,317 yards and averaged 13.17 yards per carry during his senior season. He also hauled in 62 receptions for 1,113 yards and scored 30 offensive touchdowns while adding three more on defense and special teams. He’s a two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year and Parade All-American.

The commitment would have been key for Rodriguez, who tried to bolster his chances by hiring former Chaparral coach Charlie Ragle as the UA’s liaison to in-state recruiting. The signing of Neal also would have likely gone a long way toward Rodriguez locking down recruiting in the state of Arizona; something he said is one of his top goals.

The Wildcats signed two of Neal’s teammates from Chaparral in the 2012 class — defensive end Dylan Cozens and linebacker Cody Ippolito.

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