Name: Moe Neal
Position: Running Back
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
High School: Forestview
2018 stats: Neal had his biggest season to-date, picking up 869 yards on the ground while averaging 5.61 yards per carry. He scored five rushing TDs, and also caught 13 passes for 128 yards. By the midway point of the season, he was SU’s de facto starting running back, and compiled the Orange’s highest individual rushing yardage total since Jerome Smith in 2013 (914 yards).
2019 projections: Moe’s at the top of the depth chart this time, though it’s still likely we’ll see plenty of carries from Abdul Adams and Jarveon Howard. Neal isn’t your first pick at the goal line, but has breakaway ability and finds ways to move the pile between the tackles with his speed. With more carries available to running backs this year and a greater emphasis on them for the offense, he has the ability to rush for 1,000 yards.
How’d he get here?: A lot of the usual suspects offered him initially, including Boston College, West Virginia, Wake Forest, North Carolina and also Tennessee. He’d committed to Scott Shafer before he was let go, but stuck around with the Syracuse Orange after Dino Babers & Co. sold him on the vision.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Three stars from everyone.
Money quote: Always nice when your quarterback has a lot of good things to say about you.
“Our running backs help a lot in the pass protection. Moe Neal is very smart, intelligent like all the other running backs. They know where their eyes have to be, pick up a block. His leadership ability is going to help us a lot.”
Twitter feed: @Captainmoe21_
Tweets of wonder: If you didn’t see this week, Neal was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list.
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Neal McDonough played Frank Gordon in 2003’s “Timeline.” In the movie, archaeologists wind up trapped in 14th Century France after going back in time. It wasn’t incredibly well-reviewed, but probably has some moments.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Moe’s first carry as a member of the Orange was a 49-yard touchdown back in 2016. Not a bad way to introduce yourself to everyone.
Let’s get a look at ya: Neal had enough highlights to fill a few minutes last year.