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Highly touted safety Leon O’Neal Jr.: ‘I think deep down, I’m an SEC guy’

Leon O'Neal Jr
COURTESY OF 247SPORTS.COM

Four-star safety Leon O’Neal Jr. basically has his choice of schools, and he said he is looking for that “special feeling” as he looks for his college of choice.

O’Neal (6 feet 1, 190 pounds), from Cypress (Texas) Cy Springs in the Houston suburbs, is a top-10 safety nationally and a top-100 prospect overall in the class of 2018.

“Staying close to home has been a thought, but then again different things can also be good,” O’Neal told GN. “I just want that special feeling you get when you are at a program. I’ve had that feeling with some schools, but I still have a lot of schools that want to get at me and look at me, and I will give them a shot, too.”

O’Neal has more than 30 offers, including eight from SEC schools.

“I’m just enjoying the whole process right now,” O’Neal said. “It’s kind of hard during spring ball because you have coaches coming in and out, and I just want to focus on my team. I’ve seen a lot of great schools and great coaches.

“I think deep down, I’m an SEC guy. Then again I’d play for Clemson or an Ohio State or an Oklahoma. There’s a lot of different schools that I can see myself at. I still want to travel this summer and see a lot of different schools. It’s a blessing and a dream come true.”

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O’Neal has received offers from over more than of the SEC programs, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M.

“There is something so special about that conference,” O’Neal said. “You just look at the stats and there are players that get drafted highly there. It’s the SEC, man.”

Despite playing safety, O’Neal says he could move around in the secondary if need be.

“I’m definitely a safety, but I do feel like I can play some corner and some nickel,” O’Neal said. “Whatever happens, we can adjust, but I just want to be very productive wherever I go.”

When does O’Neal plan on making his decision?

“I’m a team type of player and a family type of guy, and I don’t want to go into the season thinking about myself,” he said. “As confident as I am, I don’t want it to be about me going into my season.

“Some guys like to wait until signing day, which is respectable, and they like to go through the whole recruiting process. I feel like even if I commit, I can still go through my process, and if a school that I commit to doesn’t respect that, it is what it is.”

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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