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Recruiting: Palm Harbor University receiver Mike McNeely still awaits offer

Palm Harbor University receiver Mike McNeely, center, says he will try to walk-on at whatever school he attends.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (2008)

Palm Harbor University receiver Mike McNeely, center, says he will try to walk-on at whatever school he attends.

If someone had told Mike McNeely in December that more than a month after national signing day he would still be without a scholarship offer, the Palm Harbor University senior WR would have thought they were crazy.

On the field in 2009, he caught 33 passes for 442 yards.

Off of it, he did everything he could to get programs interested from sending out video to creating a profile on Gobigrecruiting.com, a site that boasts it is the "new way to submit your game film to college coaches."

Last week, however, McNeely said "not much is going on" with his recruitment.

To date, the player PHU coach Mark Haye once said was "the best fundamental receiver I've ever seen in my life" still has no offers and only a handful of nibbles, which isn't sitting well.

"You see the other guys around you getting offers," McNeely said. "You're real excited and everything for them.

"But when you don't have the same things they do, it gets a little frustrating."

McNeely always has been a realist.

Because he's only 5 feet 9, 165 pounds and admittedly not blessed with tremendous speed, he never expected Miami, Ohio State or Texas to knock on his door. But he thought for sure somebody would step up.

"I think we did all we could," McNeely said. "We tried hard, and I think we did a pretty good job. You talk to all the coaches, and everyone sounds upbeat. But when it was time for them to make a decision, they all kept saying the same thing: 'You're a great player, but we've decided to go in a different direction.' "

Alas, the news isn't all bad. Far from it.

While an alarmingly high number of prep athletes seem to put everything into their sports and not enough into their class work, McNeely had no trouble balancing the two. At last check, he had a 4.7 weighted grade point average.

And despite competing in two sports, he found time to work part time at Publix and volunteer 150 hours.

McNeely hopes all of this will open the doors football couldn't.

Florida has accepted him, and should he attend, his education will be covered by academic scholarships.

Additionally, McNeely, who wants to be a surgeon (he is, after all, good with his hands) has applied to a handful of Ivy League schools, each of which will let him know in early April if he got in.

If a football scholarship doesn't come, he will attempt to join the football team at whichever school he picks as a walk-on — one with a serious chip on his shoulder.

"I love proving myself to people," McNeely said.

More football: Heralded Countryside OL Tyler Moore orally committed to Nebraska in October. But while some programs have given up (see Florida), others haven't. Florida State, in particular, has remained in contact.

Boys basketball: According to Plant coach Mike Phillips, sophomore SG Michael Frazier is drawing serious interest from Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech. He already has an offer from Ohio. The 6-4 standout averaged 27 points last season.

Recruiting: Palm Harbor University receiver Mike McNeely still awaits offer 03/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 13, 2010 10:35pm]
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