Quayshawn Nealy is a talented linebacker prospect from Lakeland High and Scout caught up with him to…
Nealy Loves the Heat
Quayshawn Nealy, the 6-foot, 205-pound three-star linebacker from Lakeland Senior High School in Lakeland, Fla., has narrowed his choices to four schools from a list of around 15 scholarship offers. Nealy, ranked as the No. 49 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, said he now favors Ole Miss and Georgia slightly over South Florida and Purdue. "But really my top three are Ole Miss, Georgia and South Florida," Nealy added. The Bulls are only 35 minutes from Nealy's home and he admits that's definitely a plus. "My parents don't want me to go too far away," Nealy said. "But that's not really an issue for me. It would be nice to be close, but I'm just looking for a great program even if it's not close by. "But I do like the area at USF," he said. "I love the weather too. I love the heat because that's what I'm used to." With Nealy's love of heat, does that bode poorly for Purdue? "Well, I know it's colder up there," he said. "But I think I could adapt to it." The reason that Nealy has the Boilermakers on his final list is because his teammate and fellow (three-star) linebacker William Lucas is already committed to Purdue. "He already committed there and he's been telling me a lot about them," he said. "He says that they have a great defense and it's a good place for a linebacker. "He also told me about their alumni support," Nealy said. "I guess they are really behind you 110-percent after you graduate and try and help you get jobs and stuff. There seems to be a lot of opportunities there." Nealy has never visited Purdue and says he'll likely take an official visit there, however, he doesn't have any officials set yet. The only two he's already visited are Georgia and South Florida. "I went there for their ‘Dawg Night," he said. "The hospitality there was great. They treat you like family the whole time you're there. They show you lots of respect. "I also really like the dorms (at Georgia)," Nealy said. "Even the freshman have great dorms." The only other camp he attended was the Florida Friday Night Lights camp, but the Gators haven't offered. Nealy says he grew up following Miami, but the ‘Canes are not recruiting him. Besides his four leaders, Nealy also has offers from Louisville, Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Tulane, Florida International and Alabama State. He says the school that is recruiting him the hardest is Ole Miss. "My mom and dad did a virtual tour of Ole Miss on-line and were impressed," he said. "The campus seems great and they also liked their academics. "I really like the coaching staff," he said of the Rebels. "They did great last year and I think they are ranked like six or eight this year. I think they'll live up to it. They're coming back with a lot of fire." Nealy says he doesn't have a time frame for a decision. "I'll be looking at the academics, my comfort level and how at home I feel and if I can get early playing time," he said of his decision-making factors. Although he hasn't set up any official visits yet, he says that he and his dad plan on attending an Ole Miss and Georgia game in September unofficially. "But we're not sure which one yet," he said. Nealy finished his junior season with 126 tackles, four sacks and two fumbles caused. "I can fill the hole and I'm able to cover in open space," he said. "I'm a hard-nosed player and have a nose for the ball." He says he can bench 365-pounds, squat 450 and has a 34-inch vertical jump. "I want to improve my footwork and quickness," he said. "I'm also working on keeping my pads square." He opens his senior tomorrow, Aug. 28 when Lakeland takes on Lake Gibson High School. Nealy plans to major in either pharmacy or he may go pre-med. He reports a 3.4 core GPA and an 18 ACT.
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