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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
First football offer for 2-sport ATH Neal

By Damon Sayles

Derrick Neal (Dallas/Lincoln) picked up his first football offer on Wednesday. The big question now is in play for the 5-foot-10, 155-pound athlete.

Football or basketball in college? Or both?

Neal’s reputation is strong on the basketball court. He’s a lightning-quick point guard with ridiculous ball-handling skills -- much like his twin brother, Erick. After Wednesday, however, Derrick’s athletic road has hit the proverbial fork. He picked up a football offer from Texas Tech -- an offer he called a pleasant surprise.

“It’s a great feeling. I mean, I’m a small athlete picking up offers from the Big 12,” Neal said. “It’s a pretty nice thing. I wasn’t expecting it. I’m just playing my heart out and doing what I can for my team.”

Neal was Lincoln’s leading receiver, catching 34 passes for 519 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed 53 times for 343 yards and six touchdowns. Even though his offensive numbers are telling, Neal said he’s being recruited by Texas Tech as a cornerback. Safeties coach Trey Haverty is his primary recruiting contact.

Along with his Texas Tech offer, Neal has football interest from Baylor, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and Oklahoma State. This is the same athlete who is currently averaging 12.7 points and 4.7 assists for the Lincoln basketball team, which is 27-6 and preparing for a Texas Class 4A second-round playoff game on Friday.

Neal and his brother both have been offered to play basketball at Texas-Arlington. Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Nebraska are also showing interest.

What exactly does Neal want to do?

“I’m really not sure yet,” he said. “If I could play both, I wouldn’t mind, but I’m not sure.”

Neal’s focus currently is on basketball and leading his team to as close to the state tournament as possible. A football visit to Texas Tech might come after the season.