Davonte Neal, a five-star recruit who saw limited time and effectiveness on the field in 2012, is transferring. The father of a young child, Neal is the latest of the Class of 2012’s big gets to walk away. We here at HLS wish him well.
— Jason Sapp (@Jason_Sapp) March 27, 2013
Remember when Deontay Greenberry “got away” as a recruit? It was Davonte Neal to the rescue and our Editor-in-Chief, Tex, was all over the comparison. Still, once the hubbub of Signing Day and the day Davonte actually signed faded away, the freshman failed to break into Kelly’s scheme. He notched one lone reception for five yards over the entire 2012 campaign. As a return man, Neal was similarly ineffective, returning 21 times for a total of 46 yards (you do the math), including a dismal showing in the National Championship Game in which he fumbled once and managed only two total yards on three returns (you do the math).
So if I told you in January that Nick Tausch & Tyler Stockton would be on the 2013 roster and Gunner Kiel & Davonte' Neal wouldn't be…
— Tyler James (@TJamesNDI) March 27, 2013
While his 2012 peformance was underwhelming, losing Neal hurts, given his crazy physical talents and the room he had to improve over time. Still, with the returning receivers and William Fuller coming in, the Irish are probably in good shape. The most glaring hole at this time is on special teams, where ND’s struggles are now measured in seasons and Neal was, if only for a moment, the perceived solution.
Only time will tell and hopefully time will be kind to Davonte Neal and Notre Dame.
Coach Kelly will address the media tomorrow morning.