After a summer that saw the extreme high of graduating, and then the unfathomable low of being shot…
A Checkup on Johnell Neal
Coach George O'Leary recently discussed Neal's status and talked about if and when he is expected to play this season.
"What happened with Johnell Neal is that he graduated, his mom flew up for the graduation and he went home for a little bit," said Coach O'Leary. "While he was home, he was ambushed and shot four times. I flew into Louisiana and saw him."
Neal was a Criminal Justice major and is currently working on his second degree, but his education and season were put on hold when he was shot outside of his house. Neal was in a high amount of pain and discomfort, but was put in stable condition.
Since, Neal has been released from the hospital and has been doing fine.
"He's been back on campus since about two weeks after it, he's going to summer school and he's working, condition and weight lifting most of the time right now," added O'Leary.
Last season, Neal logged six interceptions and has been a constant starter since his freshman year. A good season could propel Neal into a mid-round draft pick, and the injury could have been a potential setback. According to O'Leary though, Neal should be back and in tip-top shape by the time the season starts.
"He should be ready to go full till in August when we start."
O'Leary and the Knights are ready for a strong 2008 season and will look to repeat as the C-USA champs. Repeating without Neal would have proven to be somewhat difficult, but fortunately for the Knights and for Neal, he will be fully recovered from what could have been a tragic incident back in May.
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