Skip to content

Davonte Neal transferring to Arizona

Apr 10, 2013, 11:08 AM EST

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan State

After deciding to walk away from Notre Dame to be closer to his girlfriend and newborn daughter, Davonte Neal will play next season for Rich Rodriguez and Arizona. The 5-foot-9 slot receiver was down to the Irish and Wildcats before dramatically choosing Notre Dame in a whirlwind recruiting process. Now he’ll come home and add an intriguing piece to the former Michigan coach’s spread offense.

As he has been from the start, Jason Sapp of BlueandGold.com has been all over this story, getting quotes from Neal on the decision-making process. While some rumors had Neal looking at UCLA or USC, the transfer back home should assist his case in securing immediate eligibility from the NCAA.

This from Sapp, who spoke with Neal directly:

“The primary reason I chose Arizona was because it was close to my family and my daughter can come see me everyday – that was the most important to me and having that family support,” Neal said. “The way Coach Rodriguez throws the ball around is amazing. They do it the entire game. I’ll have an opportunity to play inside and outside receiver in the offense. He does know how to get the ball in his players’ hands and from there they make plays.”

Neal has always been focused as an individual, but the addition to his family presents a whole new meaning to his world – both present and future.

“Having Baylee in my life just opens the door for me to be a better man,” he said. “It allows me to develop more responsibilities. I’ll become more of a man balancing school, football and having a baby.”

Neal was the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona. He’ll reunite with his Chaparral high school coach, Charlie Ragle, who is now coaching tight ends for Rodriguez.

In a pretty class move, the Neal family released this statement through Blue & Gold:

We’d like to offer our sincerest gratitude to Coach Brian Kelly, his staff, the student body, and the entire Notre Dame family for all the support they’ve shown us, not only in the past few weeks, but over the past year.

Our experience as part of the Notre Dame football team and community surpassed all of our expectations. From the opening game in Dublin, Ireland, against Navy to the National Championship, we know we were part of something very special. And we have all the confidence in the world that the Notre Dame football program is positioned to have tremendous success in the years to come.

We wish we could be a part of that moving forward, however, Davonte’ has decided after very difficult consideration that the most important thing for him and our family is to be as close to his new-born daughter as possible.

Over the past year, we have developed some great friendships within the Notre Dame community and look forward to staying in-touch with those who have given us so much. We want to take this opportunity to wish Coach Kelly and his outstanding program all the best next season and down-the-road. The Irish will forever be in our hearts and a part of our lives.

All the best and Go Irish!

 

Latest Posts
  1. Irish arrive in Nashville, no decision on starting QB yet

    Dec 27, 2014, 10:28 AM EST

    Malik Zaire, J.R. Tavai Malik Zaire, J.R. Tavai

    Notre Dame’s football team arrived for the Music City Bowl on Friday, jetting in from around the country on 19 different flights after spending Christmas with their families. From there, the Irish had their first practice in Nashville, beginning game week preparations with LSU ahead.

  2. Counting down the Irish: Final grades, 15-11

    Dec 26, 2014, 10:05 AM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    With ten players down, we get to the meat of our rankings. Our preseason and final rankings look quite different as we go from 15-11.

  3. Zack Martin named a Pro Bowler

    Dec 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Zack Martin Zack Martin

    Dallas Cowboys rookie Zack Martin was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, the only offensive rookie selected to the game and one of six Cowboys. Martin has started all season at right guard for one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks.

  4. Tommy Rees to begin coaching career at Northwestern

    Dec 24, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    Rees USC AP

    Tommy Rees will begin his coaching career close to where his football career began. Rees, who played in all four of his seasons at Notre Dame from 2010-13, will be an offensive graduate assistant at Northwestern.

  5. Report: Irish add former UCLA great Johnathan Franklin to staff

    Dec 24, 2014, 1:01 AM EST

    Pac-12 Championship - UCLA v Stanford Getty Images

    It appears that Brian Kelly has added another key piece to his football program. The Los Angeles Times reports Notre Dame has hired former Green Bay Packer and UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin to join the staff in an administrative role, focusing on student welfare and development.

  6. Counting down the Irish: Final grades, 20-16

    Dec 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Greg Bryant Greg Bryant

    As we continue our final rankings of the 2014 season, numbers 20-16 continues to showcase the youth on the roster.

  7. Counting down the Irish: Final rankings for 2014

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:32 PM EST

    Nyles Morgan

    With a little over a week to go until the Irish take on LSU in the Music City Bowl, it’s time to take a look back at the regular season. Our first five spots on the year-end Top 25 roll out.

  8. Mailbag: The case of the missing questions

    Dec 21, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

    Nyles Morgan

    After a mailbag goes missing, the Inside the Irish crew go looking for answers. That and other solutions in this week’s mailbag.

  9. Day, Riggs on track to start, Lombard’s career may be over

    Dec 20, 2014, 4:50 PM EST

    North Carolina v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Brian Kelly met with the local media on Saturday afternoon, delivering good news on the status of two key veteran defenders. Both defensive tackle Sheldon Day and cornerback Cody Riggs are on track to start against LSU, adding a few key pieces back into the puzzle.

  10. Notre Dame lands Indianapolis safety Mykelti Williams

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:59 AM EST

    Property of Indianapolis Star Property of Indianapolis Star

    Notre Dame solidified its safety depth chart by going for a homegrown solution. The Irish offered Indianapolis Warren Central safety Mykelti Williams yesterday, and today the four-star prospect made the decision official by committing to Notre Dame.

  11. And in that corner… The LSU Tigers

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:27 AM EST

    Les Miles Les Miles

    Notre Dame’s inclusion in the ACC’s bowl selections came in handy this year. As the Irish back-slid throughout November, they still held onto some preferred real estate, finding themselves in a pretty nice consolation game, with the opportunity to play in Nashville in the Music City Bowl.

    Carter Bryant gets us ready for LSU.

  12. Smith, Fuller nab All-American mentions

    Dec 18, 2014, 2:38 PM EST

    Jaylon Smith Jaylon Smith

    Sophomores Jaylon Smith and Will Fuller have earned more kudos than just their defensive and offensive player of the year Echoes. Both have received mention for year-end All-American awards.

  13. Bowl prep helps both present and future along offensive line

    Dec 18, 2014, 1:17 PM EST

    Purdue v Notre Dame Purdue v Notre Dame

    While most eyes are focused on the battle at quarterback between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, the preparations for LSU will also be critical along the offensive line. The extra practices will give Brian Kelly and Harry Hiestand time to evaluate their starting five, with changes that could have both short and long-term impacts.

  14. Mailbag: Now Open

    Dec 17, 2014, 4:24 PM EST

    New Mailbox

    Any new questions? Ones that I’ve avoided? Last minute Christmas ideas? Drop them in the comments below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  15. ‘Blind Faith’ gives first time fan the Notre Dame experience

    Dec 17, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

    Stanford v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Monday UND.com premiered the short film “Blind Faith.” Directed by Notre Dame graduate Greg Kohs, the documentary follows a blind eighth grade boy making his first visit to Notre Dame Stadium.

  16. Golson and Zaire will share time against LSU

    Dec 16, 2014, 11:40 AM EST

    Rice v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Brian Kelly will play two quarterbacks against LSU, with both senior Everett Golson and sophomore Malik Zaire getting an opportunity to take on the LSU in the Music City Bowl. After a regular season where Golson served as the starter all 12 games with Zaire only seeing significant action against USC in the finale, both will be utilized in the Irish’s offensive game plan.

  17. Stanley still undecided on NFL future

    Dec 15, 2014, 4:52 PM EST

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Notre Dame v Syracuse

    Notre Dame junior offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley walked off the stage Friday night with the team’s Lineman of the Year Award. He’s still uncertain if it’s the last time he’ll take part in the season-ending festivities.

  18. Counting down the Irish: Looking back

    Dec 15, 2014, 3:37 PM EST

    Will Fuller, Nick VanHoose Will Fuller, Nick VanHoose

    This August, a group of people who spend way too much time watching and writing about Notre Dame football got together to put together some preseason rankings on the roster. In doing so, we (I’m definitely included) put in writing what so many of you (especially in the comments) already thought was true: We don’t know what we’re talking about sometimes.

  19. Schmidt wins MVP as Notre Dame hands out year-end awards

    Dec 13, 2014, 12:11 PM EST

    Joe Schmidt Joe Schmidt

    Middle linebacker Joe Schmidt was named the 2014 team’s MVP on Saturday night, honored by his teammates with the top award at Notre Dame’s year-end awards show. Hosted by NBC’s Mike Mayock and WNBA star Skylar Diggins, “The Echoes” withstood a building-clearing plumbing issue to hand out 16 awards.

  20. With banquet ahead, recruiting efforts in full swing

    Dec 12, 2014, 10:40 AM EST

    MyLVSports.com MyLVSports.com

    Notre Dame’s regular season may be over. The Irish’s recruiting class — one many thought would cap itself around 20 — is already at 21 commits. Get ready for a busy weekend on campus.