Creve Coeur may still yet prove to be a focal point for college football recruiters this coming fall, but on Wednesday, standout Durron Neal surprised even his high school coach by making a verbal commitment to play at the University of Oklahoma starting in the fall of 2012.
De Smet Head Coach Pat Mahoney said he received a phone call from Neal Wednesday, "a minute and a half" after Neal pledged to play for OU coach Bob Stoops during a visit to the school's Norman, OK campus.
Oklahoma has been one of a more than dozens of major Division I programs recruiting the senior-to-be, but Mahoney's surprise came in that the decision was made before taking recruiting visits to the University of Oregon, Michigan, and Alabama. Mahoney said he believed Neal was to be in transit back to St. Louis on Wednesday. Neal could not be reached for comment.
Neal's commitment is non-binding until he signs a letter of intent.
In April, Neal told Creve Coeur Patch that he hoped to narrow down his top choices,
Mahoney told Patch Wednesday that he always instructs players that "you'll know" if the fit is right with a program. Neal, who played all over the field for the Spartans in 2010, would seem to be a good fit at wide receiver for Oklahoma.
A non-binding commitment is just that, which begs the question--what now?
Mahoney said he expects to have a conversation with his star receiver upon his return and ask him "is this it?"
"If he even flinches," Mahoney said they the whole process might as well be re-opened.
While Neal's decision is a blow for the University of Missouri program, the Tigers did pick up a verbal commitment from another player with ties to Creve Coeur. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports linebacker Donavin Newsom pledged to Mizzou after taking a campus visit over the weekend.