Mesquite Poteet athlete DeAndre McNeal is hardly just the teammate of five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, but the fact that the college future of the the two players could be intertwined is reason enough for Texas fans to get even more excited about the fact that McNeal has scheduled an official visit to see the Texas Longhorns in person, according to multiple reports.
In recent weeks, the odds of getting that crucial visit hadn't seemed especially high with four other visits mostly locked in, making the upcoming trip to Austin a crucial one for the Horns as McNeal gets closer to his planned decision.
McNeal has also set up official visits to Arizona State, Miami, Oklahoma State, and UCLA.
The trip to Austin will happen on November 8, when the Horns face off against the Mountaineers. Several other recruits will also be in attendance that weekend and spending time with commits can sometimes be a positive for prospects considering that school.
Rated as a consensus high three-star prospect, McNeal is ranked as the No. 30 athlete and the No. 52 player in the state of Texas in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
In the last several months, McNeal's stock has taken off among college coaches and he's already turned in a productive senior season, scoring a touchdown every three touches on offense. Two touchdown catches and three sacks in front of Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin in late September helped him earn an offer from the Aggies that could be a game-changer but apparently won't result in an official visit to College Station.
The 6'2, 228-pounder is being recruited as a pure athlete, as a wide receiver, and as a linebacker and there isn't much of a consensus about his eventual destination at this point, either. Currently holding at least 25 offers, McNeal has a split Crystal Ball -- Alabama leads, while Ohio State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech also feature predictions in their respective favors.
The recruiting momentum is such for the Aggies that offering late in the process didn't hurt the school with Ennis defensive end James Lockhart, the top-rated player in the state who committed to Texas A&M in July despite not receiving his offer until the middle of May.
Given the predictions for the Aggies that have so quickly followed his offer, Texas A&M may be the leader at this point, though McNeal certainly hasn't admitted as much publicly.
Texas needs athletes like McNeal on both sides of the ball and still has a shot to land both McNeal and Jefferson.
The odds of getting both are probably well less than even at this point with the Aggies looming so large over the in-state recruiting landscape and looking on track for a big-time season on the field, but, hey, having a chance isn't so bad, right?
So it is in the world of Texas football, where expectations remain severely diminished across the board.