Former Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Davonte’ Neal has announced his intention to transfer from South Bend to a program closer to his family, including his long-time girlfriend and child. The Scottsdale, Arizona, resident is taking a look at several west coast programs in California and Arizona. Could the Arizona State Sun Devils make a play for the former five-star recruit?
Before Neal signed on with Notre Dame, the Arizona Wildcats were one of the leading contenders to sign the talented athlete. It was an easy assumption that Neal would gravitate back towards Tucson now that he was back on the market for a football program. However, it turns out that Arizona likely won’t factor into the recruiting process this time around.
Davonte’s father, Luke Neal, will be a major factor in where his son ends up this time, many presume. Luke had a falling out with Davonte’s high school coach, Charlie Ragle, who has since been hired onto Rich Rodriguez‘s staff at Arizona. Ragle is now an assistant coach for the Wildcats and his strained relationship with the elder Neal will likely keep Arizona from being a serious contender in this transfer drama.
That leaves just one other major program in the state of Arizona over in Tempe. Todd Graham has shown a good ability to recruit talent to Arizona State and could always use a playmaking athlete like Neal on his roster. He may benefit from his geography, as well, as Luke Neal works as a trainer in Ahwatukee, Arizona, which is near the Arizona State campus. Putting together a team that could contend for a Pac 12 title doesn’t hurt either.
The Sun Devils will likely be in a heated recruiting race with several California schools, including the San Diego State Aztecs, USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins. Can ASU keep the former Arizona prep star in the state and add a two-way threat to their ever-improving roster?