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HornSports Q&A with DeAndre McNeal

Aaron Carrara

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When you're 6'2" and almost 230 pounds, it's not just college coaches that make a fuss over you. When you're DeAndre McNeal, your own high school coaches vie for your attention. That's because McNeal is such a gifted athlete that he stars at both wide receiver and linebacker for the Poteet Pirates.

Regardless of which side of the ball his coaches have him playing, McNeal made the decision that he wants to play on offense in college. That choice helped him narrow a long list of schools that were competing for his attention.

Now, with only about a 10 days left until he announces where he plans to attend college, McNeal is keeping a busy schedule and playing it close to the vest with respect to his pending decision. The Poteet star was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat with HornSports about his decision, Charlie Strong, and his new 'do.....

HornSports: You're announcing on the 19th. That's next week. What do you have planned for the announcement?
DeAndre McNeal: We will do it at the school in the auditorium that morning. I think it’s the biggest place in the school, so we’ll do it there. It’s the last day of school before Christmas break and we will make it fun. It will give all the reporters and media a chance to see what we are going to do. It’s going to be great and I am looking forward to it.

HornSports: Who’s going to announce first, you or Malik?
DeAndre McNeal: I’ll go first

HornSports: What's your favorite memory of playing high school football?
DeAndre McNeal: Football is the same through all, even PeeWee and probably through the NFL, you’re playing the same game. Just me being able to be a part of a great thing like I have been here at my high school and play for Poteet – that is the biggest memory to me. That is what I will miss the most. Here in Mesquite I know we have a great community and people care for me and love me and look after me. I will miss all of this.

Horn Sports: What's up with the blonde hair!?
DeAndre McNeal: Ah, that was just a playoff thing. I dyed it back to black now (laughs).

Horn Sports: Who is the best DB you've gone up against while at Poteet?
DeAndre McNeal: I would probably have to say DeShon Elliot, the commit to Texas. He’s the best one I would have to say I have played against.

HornSports: Coach Brian Jean-Mary did an in-home visit and was there kinda late. How'd it go?
DeAndre McNeal: It was great. We didn’t just talk about football. We talked about life in general and my career and my degree I want to earn.

HornSports: Who else is recruiting you at Texas besides Coach Jean-Mary?
DeAndre McNeal: Coach Chambers and Coach Koenning

HornSports: There's been talk that Coach Strong told you he'd throw the 1st pass to you at Notre Dame next Fall. Is that true?
DeAndre McNeal: Yes it is true. When I was down in Austin for my official visit he told me that. I don’t think that is good for the Fighting Irish – I mean, all you have to look for is McNeal. They are probably going to put everybody on me (laughs).


HornSports: What are your strongest skills at WR?
DeAndre McNeal: My explosiveness and my ability to be physical. I’m a pretty big guy so just me out-bodying corners, I mean, I feel like that is my best aspect and me using my hands and feet and me being able to get around and catching the ball at my highest point. That’s what I’m really good at. That’s where my money-maker is.

HornSports: Why do you prefer offense over defense?
DeAndre McNeal: Dez Bryant… I look up to Dez Bryant and I feel like I am the same type of wide receiver and what he does to corners…. I’ve played offense my entire high school career and it feels like what I should do.

HornSports: Are all the schools in your Top 5 recruiting you to play wide receiver?
DeAndre McNeal: Yes, they are.

HornSports: The 19th is about 10 days away. What all do you have scheduled between now & then? You’re heading to UCLA this weekend, right?
DeAndre McNeal: Yes and I’m going to Mexico to do some humanitarian work, just going to build some homes for people in need. Other than that, that’s all I have planned.

HornSports: Coach (David) Beaty was recruiting you at A&M. Is he trying to sell you on the Jayhawks?
DeAndre McNeal: No, actually he is not. I guess he knows that I’m not going to go there (harmonious chuckle). He’s not trying to recruit me at all.

HornSports: Has A&M called to tell you who is recruiting you now?
DeAndre McNeal: No, not yet but I’m pretty sure I have a person coming really soon. I talked to coach Sumlin last Friday after the whole incident happened, I heard about it and he called me. We talked about it and he told me that nothing is going to change, everything is going to be fine it’s just they have to get the person in place to come in and occupy his (Beaty’s) position.

HornSports: You & Malik have played together since grade school. How did y'all decide to make recruiting a business decision/individual choice (instead of playing together)?"
DeAndre McNeal: We are both wanted by multiple, similar colleges and we said look for what you want in a school, I want to look out for what I want in a school and at the end of the day we’ll come up at one point in a time and we’ll come up and see what schools we have that are in common. Then we wil see if we both like what they have for both of us. It has been a long, hard process that eventually I think will pay off.

HornSports: Thanks for the time DeAndre and best of luck.
DeAndre McNeal: I appreciate that, thank you. 

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He sounds like a great young man. I wish him luck in life, no matter where he goes.


That said, my concern for us getting him is onviously the QB and offensive issues we have right now. That has to be a tough sale. It would be one thing if it was at the WT position where we could sell him on coming in and helping be the fix, but it's not it is the QB and OL. Although I would hope that he got a chance to talk to Harris as we have seen what he has done despite the problems.



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