Keanu Neal is a hard hitting safety that checks in at 6'1 and 205 pounds from Bushnell (FL) South Sumter High School. Neal has offers from Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, South Florida, Central Florida and is close to adding offers from Clemson and Florida State.
Neal was feeling the good vibes on Florida's campus Saturday for Junior Day, but he really was wanting to make a big splash at home in front of his teammates and school. He left Gainesville without committing to the staff . However, he just couldn't resist letting the cat out of the bag, calling he staff back and letting them know he wanted in to what is shaping up to be a super class of 2013.
"It was a very big deal," Neal said about the excitement of a possible commitment. "I wanted to wait, I just couldn't do it.
"They offered me two weeks prior to today and I committed tonight, I called them back and talked to them. I talked to Coach Robinson and he wanted to get me with Coach Muschamp but he was in a meeting. Coach Muschamp will talk to me tomorrow."
Neal loved what he saw in Gainesville both for his athletic background and his strong academic approach to the process.
"It is a great place. I have been looking forward to going there and am looking forward to being there for four years. The coaches are great, they welcomed me with open arms and I felt at home. They also said they would keep me at safety which is what I wanted.
"I love the statistic that they are ranked second in the nation among public Universities. "
There is no denying he is what Florida is looking for in a safety.
"They love my physicality and it is what they look for in a player,. They also know they will move me down in the box and that will work well for me because I played linebacker for a couple of years in high school."
His best asset is the pride he has in reaching his goals and trying to obtain them.
"It's my hard work and determination," he said. "When I want something I will work for it. When I go to Florida I want to get a BCS Championship and I know that is not going to be easy. I know as a team we have to work as one. "
He also knows he can't do it alone and so even before giving his pledge, he was going to try and sway a person or two to join him.
"I was trying to talk to Nick Washington, another safety and was trying to get him to commit, but he committed before I could even talk to him," neal said with a laugh. "I would like Marcell Harris to join the Gator family as well."
As a junior Neal registered 140 tackles, 4 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), and 4 forced fumbles for South Sumter.