Not too long ago, DeAndre McNeal and Marcel Southall were Texas Longhorns. A former four-star receiver and three-star defensive tackle, respectively, McNeal signed with what was then Charlie Strong’s program in 2015 and the following class, Southall inked with Strong’s Longhorns in 2016.
Each has since transferred.
McNeal departed from the program prior to the 2016 season and after a 5-7 campaign led to Strong’s dismissal and ultimately, the arrival of an entirely new staff under Tom Herman, Southall also transferred from Texas months later in May 2017. The two are now gearing up for the 2018 season at FAU — McNeal played for the Owls last season — and having spent time in FAU’s strength and conditioning program working under Wilson Love, who arrived in Boca Raton following two seasons at Alabama, the former Longhorns each said that FAU’s “fourth quarter” workouts are superior to those they endured in Austin.
“I was shocked. It’s a whole different level than Texas,” Southall told Wajih Al Baroudi of Owl Access. “It got me back in shape, pushing me to a different level that I haven’t been pushed before.”
McNeal echoed Southall’s sentiments, saying “Oh yes, by far. The fourth quarter program is no joke, I can definitely say that.”
Unlike McNeal, who transferred prior to the Herman era and only worked under former Texas strength and conditioning coach Pat Moorer, Southall worked with Moorer and current Longhorns strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight, who has received plenty of praise for the progress current players have made physically throughout the 2018 offseason. Southall entered his first winter conditioning program under McKnight listed at 300 pounds and was part of a defensive line unit that Herman called out for being “fat guys” who could afford to lose some weight.
Southall wasn’t able to accomplish that feat throughout his final months on the Forty Acres as he focused on academics throughout the spring, but he’s checked that box while working with Love at FAU.
Since he stepped foot on FAU’s campus earlier this summer, Southall has reportedly shed 20 pounds and is now down to a playing weight of 270 pounds.
It’s impossible to know whether or not Southall would have enjoyed similar, if not superior results had he remained at Texas, but the reality is that he and McNeal left and after seeing what each program had to offer, they’re bigger fans of what they’ve found at FAU.