This is the eighth profile in the Gator Prospectus series covering Florida’s 2013 in-state commits.
Name: Keanu Neal
Committed: Feb. 18
School: Bushnell South Sumter
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 203 pounds
Scouting Report: When Neal steps on the field, it looks like he just got done lifting weights. He is absolutely jacked and was described as a “freakazoid” by UF running backs coach Brian White. Neal is a linebacker in a safety’s body, but his explosiveness and breaking ability allows him to defend the pass well. He’s not exceptionally fast, but he has quick reaction-time and great closing speed to finish off plays. Neal is a hard-hitter who can lay out ball carriers in the box or in the secondary. He’s physically ready for the college level at this stage and could be a force once he gets some experience and learns the playbook. He takes bad angles at times and plays a bit stiff, but his foot work and athleticism should improve as gets coached by Will Muschamp and goes through Florida’s strength and conditioning program. One thing Neal definitely has is football blood. His brother, Clinton Hart, was a safety for the San Diego Chargers and played a total of seven years in the NFL.
For The Game: Neal, who is a two-way player for his team, scored the first of seven touchdowns for South Sumter as it rolled to a 42-0 win over Keystone Heights. The victory clinched the 4-4A district title for the Raiders, who are now 9-0 (5-0) on the season. Neal dominated defensively, delivering several jarring hits from his safety position and keeping the Indians out of the end zone. He also had a few key blocks from the fullback position on some of South Sumter’s scores.
Quotable: “We just expect him to play great all the time. He’s huge part of what we do on the both sides of the ball and we could probably keep him on the field more. You watch him play and you can tell he’s a tremendous asset. All the accolades he gets he deserves. The last kid we sent to Florida was Earl Everett, and we always said Earl was a better person than he was player. Keanu is the same. He’s intelligent, the kid has a 3.7 (GPA), so he’s going to learn the system at Florida extremely fast. I think he’ll play right away to be honest with you. He’ll take care of business and be an excellent student athlete and ambassador for the school.” — South Sumter coach Inman Sherman.
Notable: Has attended every home game this season and will officially visit on Dec. 8; will play in the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 4; a consensus a four-star prospect; was one of five honorable mention performers at The Nike Football SPARQ Combine in March; competed in the IMG 7-on-7 tournament and The Opening, where he won the 7-on-7 championship; ranked No. 6 positionally and No. 62 overall by ESPN, ranked No. 1o positionally and No. 108 overall by Rivals.
Up next week on the Gator Prospectus — UF cornerback commit Vernon Hargreaves III.