Head coach Scott Shafer has consistently preached quality over quantity in the recruiting class of 2016, and it looks like it’s starting to pay dividends. After a crazy week of Orange recruiting, hybrid back Moe Neal became the fourth three-star player to commit to SU over the last couple days, although it remains to be seen if Devon Clarke’s commitment will be accepted.
Neal, long pursued by the Orange, is a teammate of Robert Washington and has been primarily recruited by running backs coach DeAndre Smith. When Washington first committed to the Orange back in May, fans hoped that he would use his talent as leverage to convince better players to play up in Central New York. And for the first time, Washington pulled in a talented backfield partner, Neal, to lineup alongside him in two seasons.
Neal originally named his top five which included ACC rivals Duke, Boston College, Wake Forest and Mississippi State. Eventually, the decision was between the Orange and hometown Wake Forest. After visiting SU in mid-July, however, Neal was hooked on Syracuse’s program.
Neal chose the Orange on Saturday, obviously, and will provide a huge boost to a developing position in the offense. The hybrid back has been an interesting position of late for SU, with running back Erv Phillips transitioning to the spot for the upcoming season and hybrid back Ashton Broyld being dismissed from the program earlier in the week.
Through his first three years at Forestview High School in North Carolina, Neal has tallied 74 total touchdowns, including 29 in his junior season. He also put up over 2,000 yards on the ground last year. Neal is looking to enroll early at Syracuse and hopes to arrive on campus in January with Washington and QB recruit Rex Culpepper, who recently tore his ACL.
Looking ahead, Washington and Neal will attempt to flip the commitment of defensive tackle and longtime friend Christian Colon, who committed to Penn State at the end of June. Neal becomes the 15th commitment in the recruiting class, with spots filling up quickly.