DaiShon Neal, a three-star recruit from Omaha, this morning reaffirmed his verbal commitment to Nebraska.
But could Michigan have landed him if not for an error in judgment?
Appearing on The Zone in Omaha (1620-AM) this morning, Neal and his father said that positive feelings they had toward the Wolverines went out the door when U-M defensive line coach Greg Mattison told Neal on Monday that he wouldn’t be able to get into the school without football.
“Basically, they tried to call me stupid,” Neal said.
Neal’s father, Abraham Hoskins Jr., said U-M’s visitors were “escorted out” shortly thereafter, and Neal decided to stay with the home-state team.
“Michigan was a powerhouse,” Hoskins said. “They came in and they stormed us. They made one bad statement, and it ruined them. They said, without football, DaiShon wouldn’t be able to go to Michigan. We couldn’t afford to send him there or we couldn’t get him (in) academically.”
Mattison and other U-M coaches are not allowed to publicly comment on recruits until national letters of intent are signed Feb. 4, so take Neal’s comments for what they are.
Hoskins said they told Michigan not to waste the money to have head coach Jim Harbaugh come in for a visit this week because they were leaning toward Nebraska and just listening to U-M.
Ironically, Hoskins was the one pushing Michigan on his son because of its academic reputation.
“I was leaning toward Michigan,” Neal’s father said. “Academics, stats. My thing is he might not ever play again in his life, but that degree is going to take him everywhere.”
Neal wasn’t buying the pitch quite as much.
“I know they wanted me to come and play there, they wanted to put me to play with (recent Nebraska flip) Reuben (Jones) and put me in scheme and explain academically and this and that what’s came out of Michigan, the connections and all of that,” he said. “I’m like, here in Omaha, Neb., we’ve got Warren Buffett, so that’s all we need, pretty much.”
After Michigan left, Neal told his father he wanted to go to Nebraska. He talked to Cornhuskers defensive coordinator Hank Hughes 15 minutes later, reaffirming the commitment.
“He said we’re going to get after them when we finally play them,” Neal said on the air.
More than an hour after the interview, Neal tweeted: “Now some Michigan fans saying I don’t have grades … come on! 3.4 core gpa I think I’m doing just fine!”
Now some Michigan fans saying I don’t have grades 😂 come on! 3.4 core gpa I think I’m doing just fine!
— DJ (@DaishonNeal90) January 27, 2015
Neal also said that U-M had expressed confidence in landing three-star California tight end Matt Snyder, who also is verbally committed to Nebraska. But Neal said that Snyder downplayed the possibility of an immediate flip to Michigan, and Neal believes that he’ll be able to convince Snyder to stay with the Cornhuskers.
Note: ESPNU’s National Signing Day special will feature studio analysis and live commitments — including U-M tight end target Chris Clark — and the network will have a reporter stationed at 14 different schools, including Michigan. The other Big Ten teams on the list are Ohio State and Penn State.
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