Following a highly-publicized recruitment and just one season at Notre Dame, former Chaparral High star Davonte’ Neal is transferring to Arizona, according to a report from Blue and Gold Illustrated.
Neal – a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona during the 2010 and 2011 seasons as a high school player – welcomed his daughter, Baylee, to the world on Feb. 2. While he had been satisfied with his well-thought out college decision by taking his talents to South Bend with a post-National Signing Day signature, he felt an internal struggle that urged him to return back home.
Neal was primarily used as a punt returner in his freshman season in South Bend, averaging 2.2 yards on 21 returns. He also ran the ball once for seven yards and caught one pass for a five-yard loss.
Neal eventually chose Notre Dame over numerous scholarship offers from the likes of Arizona State, Auburn, Cal, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and USC.
“The primary reason I chose Arizona was because it was close to my family and my daughter can come see me everyday – that was the most important to me and having that family support,” Neal said. “The way Coach Rodriguez throws the ball around is amazing. They do it the entire game. I’ll have an opportunity to play inside and outside receiver in the offense. He does know how to get the ball in his players’ hands and from there they make plays.”
According to the report, Neal plans on applying for a hardship waiver that if approved, would make him eligible to play for the Wildcats this fall.