With over eight months left until the 2014 class signs on the dotted line, the South Carolina coaching staff has the next class off to an early start.
2015 Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson wide receiver Dexter Neal made his pledge official today after his high school's spring football game.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder first made his plans Sunday night via Twitter.
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Neal chose South Carolina over scholarship offers from Buffalo, Cincinnati, Clemson, Michigan State, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and others.
Stephenson High has been kind to South Carolina in recent years. The 2013 class features DB signee Ali Groves, while the 2012 class netted RB Mike Davis and DB Kyle Fleetwood and Kadetrix Marcus signed with USC out of the 2011 class.
Why did the Georgia product decide on South Carolina so early in the process?
"I decided to pull the trigger because I looked into the academic program. They broke it down to me, which is the most important thing," Neal said shortly after making the commitment. "The program, the depth chart and everything else. I decided why wait? I just pulled the trigger."
Neal feels that he has a chance to be a productive player once he arrives in Columbia.
"The coaches told me I have a chance to be a big playmaker and that's what I need. I feel that if I go to South Carolina and be the playmaker I can be that everything will be successful."
Although he projects as a receiver at the next level, Neal plays multiple positions for his high school team.
"Receiver, linebacker strong safety, anywhere they need me to be," he explained. "I'm very physical."
With his size, comparisons to one recent USC receiver who is now in the NFL are inevitable.
"Everyone has been telling me that I will be the next Alshon Jeffery. I haven't too much looked at him, but it was pretty convincing. As long as I go up to South Carolina everything will be alright."
Even though Neal pledged to USC well before he will sign a letter of intent in early 2015, he plans on keeping his word.
"I'm going to stick with them. I just have to make sure I'm staying over the depth cart, I'm calling the coaches and taking visits."
Neal is scheduled to visit South Carolina again this weekend. He was on campus during the 2011 season for USC's home game against Clemson at Williams-Brice Stadium.
"It's just a visit to reconnect, get back to talking with the staff, visiting the campus, talking with some of the players," he said. "That's it."
Last season, Neal caught seven touchdown passes and averaged over 15 yards per catch.
For subscribers: Get the scoop on how Neal's recruitment played out and what kind of player USC is getting here