HighSchoolOT On The Trail

NC State atop Alim McNeill's list

Posted July 26
Updated July 27

Alim McNeill of Sanderson. Cardinal Gibbons hosted a 7-on-7 with Sanderson, Rolesville, Hillside and Wakefield on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Photo By: Nick Stevens/HighSchoolOT.com)

Sanderson senior Alim McNeill trimmed his list of potential suitors down to six teams last month, but the four-star Spartan now has a leader – NC State.

McNeill told HighSchoolOT this week that the hometown Wolfpack is atop his list, followed by Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia Tech – in no particular order.

"The people at State are great guys; I love what they are building there, [and] the culture is great," McNeill said. "Proximity is a factor as well. Everything in a college I was looking for, they have it, education wise especially.

"I really love State a lot. I’ve grown a great relationship with the guys there."

​​NC State head coach Dave Doeren extended a scholarship offer to McNeill on January 20.

Former defensive line coach Ryan Neilson and recruiting coordinator Des Kitchings were heavily involved early in McNeill’s recruitment to NC State. Neilson left the Wolfpack in February to take a job with the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints, but Kitchings remains on the hunt for McNeill.

Sanderson senior running back Trent Pennix pledged his commitment to the Pack on June 9. Pennix made his final selection between NC State and Virginia Tech.

Pennix told HighSchoolOT that he is actively recruiting McNeill to join him at NC State.

“He’s like my closest best friend; I’ve known him ever since we were young,” Pennix said. “After I committed, Doeren said ‘now you have to help me recruit, especially with your boy Alim,’ so I’ve been on him really hard.

“It’s just between him and his family, but I hope he comes to State as well.”

Like Pennix, the Hokies were an early favorite to land McNeill, but additional scholarship offers in recent months have forced the standout Spartan to reassess his options.

Twenty-nine other programs have offered McNeill in addition to his top six: Appalachian State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Boston College, Campbell, Charlotte, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, FAU, Florida, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, N.C. A&T, Old Dominion, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Tulane, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky.

Clemson, Louisville, Michigan, South Carolina were among McNeill’s top 10 in May, but the four schools didn’t make the cut down to six.

McNeill told HighSchoolOT on Thursday that he will make his college announcement in September.

​​Last season at Sanderson McNeill, who plays both defensive end and linebacker, tallied 82 tackles – 18 for loss –six sacks, two forced fumble and one interception.

McNeill also appeared on offense for Sanderson in 12 games last season. He recorded 15 carries for 69 rushing yards and six touchdowns, and he also garnered four catches for 24 yards and a score.

Alim McNeill Highlights

For the latest Triangle-area high school football recruiting updates, follow Jon Stout on Twitter.

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