WR Durron Neal expects to start in 2012


Four-star cornerback De’Vante Harris (Mesquite, Texas/Horn) and four-star wide receiver Durron Neal (St. Louis/De Smet Jesuit) share a special bond.

The two send each other messages constantly on Twitter, got along great during their official visits to Oklahoma in November and were among the two biggest personalities of OU’s 2012 class.

So when Harris de-committed from the Sooners, many wondered if it might start a domino effect beginning with Neal? But after meeting with Oklahoma coaches Josh Heupel, Jay Norvell and Bob Stoops in the last four days, OU fans don’t have to worry about Neal.

“I know I’m not going anywhere,” Neal said. “I’m ready to be a Sooner and go to work.”

Heupel and Norvell visited with Neal on Friday, and then Norvell and Stoops met with Neal on Monday morning. Between the two visits, the receiver said all his questions have been answered.

It was important for Neal to meet up with Norvell, especially the speculation about Norvell possibly leaving OU to become the offensive coordinator at either Florida or Wisconsin. Neal said Monday night once again that had Norvell left the Sooners program, he would have de-committed as well.

“It felt so good to hear Coach Norvell explain everything. He is a man that is standing by his word,” Neal said. “He doesn’t break his friendships. It’s tough to describe my relationship with him. He’s a lot more than a coach.”

Neal, 6-foot and 190 pounds, is ranked No. 8 at wide receiver and No. 60 in the ESPNU 150. He said his biggest question for Stoops was whether or not the head coach thought Neal could make an impact in 2012.

Neal said Stoops told him he’s ready for Neal to make an immediate impact. And Neal doesn’t care where that impact is.

“I’ll do whatever the coaches ask,” Neal said. “Offense, defense, special teams, it has never mattered to me. I’ll be the center if it meant I could get some time on the field. I just want to help the team win.”

Neal was given a chance to shine on offense at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this month and took advantage of it as one of the most consistent performers all week in San Antonio.

Rumors have been swirling about the OU program in the last month, but Neal said he feels a lot more confident after speaking with Stoops.

“I looked Coach [Stoops] right in his eye and told him I’m starting next season,” Neal said. “I’ve been working too hard to be stopped now. I’ve trained too hard. I owe it to myself.

“Coach liked my confidence.”

The OU coaching staff will continue making the rounds in the final two weeks leading up to National Signing Day, but Neal is one commit that can be checked off the list.