Wilson Hunt's Neal commits to LSU
July 6, 2012North Carolina
By Tom Ham, Wilson Times
WILSON - Wednesday night’s July 4 celebration in Fleming Stadium included more than a Coastal Plain League summer collegiate baseball game and a spectacular fireworks display.
Definitely a precedent, Hunt High star football player Lewis Neal, a rising senior, informed the huge turnout he will continue his football career at Louisiana State University, a perennial Southeastern Conference powerhouse and the 2011-12 national runner-up to SEC archrival Alabama.
Before a crowd of 3,500-plus before the start of the fifth inning, Neal, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end, yanked off his T-shirt to reveal an LSU T-shirt and donned an LSU hat to the applause of the crowd as he issued his non-binding verbal commitment.
Neal, who said LSU is recruiting him as a defensive end/linebacker, declined to list his two or three final choices and added that he has visited several Division I schools this summer. A four-year varsity player and three-year starter for the 3-A Big East Conference champion Warriors, Neal previously verbally committed to Ohio State and promptly rescinded the decision.
The idea to verbally commit during the Independence Day celebration in Fleming Stadium was Neal’s.
“I know Wilson is family,” the 17-year-old commented. “Wilson is a small city, but everybody has big dreams. I want to represent my city and I wanted to let everybody know my decision.
Neal did so with a nervous voice.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he reasoned, “but I guess I better get used to it.”