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December 15, 2004

Recruit's Rap: Neal not giving up Madden crown

One player from each team in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl will be doing a daily diary for Rivals.com this week. J.C. Neal, one of the most charismatic and talkative players invited to the annual all-star game, will be talking about his experiences with the South Carolina team all week long.

The 5-foot-11, 177-pound cornerback and four-star recruit from Lakewood High remains one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Southeast. He has narrowed down his long list of choices to N.C. State and Virginia Tech. This is his first entry as told through Rivals.com's Andrew Skwara


SPARTANBURG, S.C. - I was sitting at home Friday night and I couldn't sleep. My high school coach Greg Crolley came to pick me up at 5 a.m. and when I got in the car I slept the whole way to Spartanburg, S.C, except when we stopped at Burger King to get something to eat.

We got to the hotel really early and just sat around until all the players got name tags. A bunch of us played Madden 2005 and I beat everybody in my room. We had a couple of player meetings and then I went to bed.

On Sunday all the players went to hospital (the players visit sick and injured children from the Shriners hospital every year) and that was a lot of fun. I thought the kids were going to be worse off and their spirits would be down, but it they were happy and that made it fun. That night my roommate Rendrick Taylor (a defensive back who has committed to Clemson) arrived. He is really cool and easy to get along with.

On Monday we got up really early and it turned out to be the longest day. We started practicing and I thought it was never going to end. Mike Davis (four-star running back) really impressed me. I've never seen anyone stiff arm linebackers like he does. He's for real.

All the defensive backs are having a lot of fun here. I knew some of these guys already and the one's I didn't are very good, too.

On Tuesday it was really cold (temperatures in the high 20s with heavy winds) and a very tiring day. But, we got back to the hotel and started playing video games again. I had to keep my winning streak going.

The North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl is an annual all-star game that pits the top seniors from both states. The game will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday. Rivals.com will continue to bring you coverage of practices and events leading up to the game.


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