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McKeesport Area FB/LB Tyrone “T.J.” Neal issues oral declaration to Illinois

Written by: on Monday, January 16th, 2012

One of the leaders of McKeesport Area’s 2011 defensive unit will be continuing his collegiate football career in the Big Ten Conference.

Tyrone “T.J.” Neal, a 6’1, 225-pound fullback/middle linebacker combination for the Tigers, issued an oral declaration to Illinois Sunday night, according to both national recruiting service Scout.com and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

In addition to the Illini, Neal held scholarship offers from programs like Auburn, Florida, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Pitt, Rutgers, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Southern California and West Virginia.

Scout.com rated Neal as the No. 16 middle linebacker in the 2012 recruiting class and a three-star prospect.  Neal was Pennsylvania’s highest-rated middle linebacker prospect.

Named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Fabulous 22 team (released Thanksgiving), the East Regional Fabulous 22 team and an All-Foothills Conference selection at linebacker, Neal was part of a McKeesport Area defensive unit which allowed an average of 19.4 points per game, holding five of 10 opponents to 17 points or less, with one shutout.  Offensively, Neal recorded 27 carries for 190 yards and scored four touchdowns, averaging seven yards per carry as part of a McKeesport rushing attack which chewed up 179.2 rushing yards per game.

McDowell eliminated McKeesport in the opening round of the WPIAL AAAA playoffs.  The Tigers finished 6-4 overall.

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