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Insider

DE Lewis Neal likes LSU's balance

7/6/2012

For Lewis Neal, the latest of LSU's 19 commitments for the 2013 recruiting class, choosing LSU was about "the little things," and not the reasons one might think.

The third defensive end in the class didn't come just to be part of an NFL factory for defensive linemen. Nor did he come for the chance to play defensive end, his natural position.

"It was everything," he said. "It was the most complete school I saw."

The Wilson, N.C., product is only 6-foot-1, 230 pounds at this point, but he will play a position where LSU has had success with smaller builds such as his. The Tigers are likely to lose four defensive ends after this season, including two who will likely leave school early because they are top pro draft prospects. Both of them -- Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery -- weigh less than 250 pounds.

Big factor? Don't count on it.

"You can get to the NFL from anywhere," said Neal, who committed to LSU Wednesday night. "That really was not a big factor. The NFL will find you."

Neither was his decision about position. Neal committed to Ohio State, which wanted him to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, in April. At LSU, he'll play end in a 4-3. He plays defensive end for Wilson/Hunt High school, so he won't have to learn a totally new position.

"I'll be a rush end, playing 3-technique and I'll also be in [pass] coverage," Neal said. "Really, it's just like if I was in a 3-4, so it doesn't really matter," he said.

For Neal, it was simply about the total package of a school.

"It was the best overall school," he said. "I liked everything. I liked that the campus was not that big and you could walk across it. I liked the city.

"I liked the coaches, every single one of them. And I liked all the little things about the place."

Neal is, after all, a detail-oriented guy.

"You can't be perfect," he said. "But when you fail, you can get up again and try to be perfect. That's me. I'm always trying to be perfect.

"I'm going to outwork my competition. I'm going to outdo him in training. I'm going to outdo him in the classroom. I'm going to keep working."

For Neal, every detail matters. At the end of the day, he said that's why he chose the Tigers.