Given the Bearcats depth at wide receiver, both this year but also projecting forward receiver is not a huge position of need in this class. They can afford to take a gamble in this class with the kind of kid who doesn't have a ton of production at the high school level, but who has an intriguing skill set.
Braxton Neal fits that description to a T. Playing for Lakota West there are not a ton of passes to go and catch. The firebirds ran the ball to win and passed when they could. As a team they averaged under 15 pass attempts per game, and completed half of those. So it is not a huge surprise that Neal didn't have massive production this year.
This is clearly a camp that Neal earned in camp with his performance. The measurables are certainly there. He looks like a legitimate 6'3" 170 pounder which fits the mold for an outside receiver in this offense. His high school coach Larry Cox describes him thusly.
"He's a natural receiver," Cox said. "It's effortless to watch him catch the football. He sort of takes the ball out of the air instead of catching it. When the ball is in the air he has good spatial awareness."
Not often that you hear "spatial awareness" hyped as a quality for a receiver in high school, so thats interesting. Also interesting is his description of Neal catching the football. Effortless is a great buzzword for receivers. Acrobatic is another good one.
Welcome to Bearcat Nation Braxton