Lane Kiffin may be comatose onscreen, but off the field on the recruiting trail he’s a machine. Still.
UCLA has been in hot pursuit of DeAndre McNeal, a California junior college wide receiver who began his collegiate career with the Texas Longhorns. Instead of Westwood, however, McNeal has opted to commit to Kiffin and Florida Atlantic.
“I know FAU can make me the top wide receiver in the nation,” the receiver told 247Sports.com. “I already know their offense and I know I will get the ball there. At this point in my life I don’t need to go where I know I’m going to play and be used.”
As long as the commitment holds, this would make Kiffin 3-1 lifetime vs. UCLA, including 2-1 as USC’s head coach.
McNeal was the No. 8 JUCO receiver in the country entering National Signing Day. This is actually the second time he’s spurned UCLA as the Bruins were finalists during his initial recruitment before he opted for the Longhorns.
A four-star member of UT’s 2015 recruiting class, McNeal was indefinitely suspended by then-head coach Charlie Strong in August of last year. Not long after, the player opted to transfer out.
For depth purposes, it appears fortuitous Texas moved a quarterback to wide receiver recently.
UT officials confirmed Wednesday that DeAndre McNeal has been suspended by head coach Charlie Strong. The only reason given was a violation of unspecified team rules.
Two days later, 247Sports.com is reporting that the receiver has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer. As part of the release, McNeal will be barred from transferring to another Big 12 program as well as 2016 opponents Notre Dame, UTEP and Cal.
Texas A&M and UCLA were finalists for McNeal last year, and will get consideration again this time around. He will have to sit out the 2016 season if he moves on to another FBS program.
McNeal was a four-star member of the Longhorns’ 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 44 player at any position in the state of Texas. Instead of contributing immediately as a true freshman as he intimated to the media, McNeal played sparingly in 2015.
In limited action — he played more on special teams than offense — McNeal didn’t catch a pass. His only statistical contributions were a nine-yard run and a special teams tackle.