Considering how the 2012 recruiting season went for Notre Dame, it was only fitting Davonte Neal, No. 8 in the ESPNU 150, committed to the Fighting Irish on Tuesday.
Neal, who pushed back his announcement date past signing day, was set to announce in the morning at his elementary school between Arizona, Arkansas and Notre Dame. He never showed, leaving the country -- and a gathering of grade schoolers -- in suspense.
A few hours later, Neal committed to the Irish over Arizona, Arkansas and North Carolina.
As crazy as it may sound, Neal’s back-and-forth oddball recruitment might not even be the weirdest Notre Dame had to endure in the 2012 class.
That might go to ESPNU 150 quarterback Gunner Kiel, who committed to Indiana in the summer before decommitting days before Notre Dame hosted USC. It seemed the Irish had the edge for Kiel, but he picked LSU shortly before the New Year.
But a day before the spring semester began at LSU, Kiel had a change of heart and never showed up in Baton Rouge. Instead, he enrolled at Notre Dame a few days later.
Is Kiel’s commitment any more shocking than Deontay Greenberry’s, though? An ESPNU 150 receiver out of California, Greenberry committed to Notre Dame during the summer. Greenberry’s cousin Tee Shepard, even enrolled at Notre Dame in January (with Kiel).
A few days before signing day, though, Greenberry visited Houston, which secured his commitment on signing day in a move that produced signing day’s most surprising moment.
In all, Notre Dame was able to come out with the No. 9 class and a winner in two of those three, which as Meat Loaf pointed out 25 years ago, ain’t bad.