LSU 2021 Four-Star Recruit Latrell Neville Would Consider it 'Dream Come True' To Go Home for College
When LSU 2021 four-star receiver target Latrell Neville visited Baton Rouge in the spring of 2019, he could tell that the culture and the mindset of the team was just different.
It was a day that Neville won’t soon forget as just watching practice from a distance painted him a clear picture of the college football experience.
"To see it [the offense] first hand in practice, it was just back-to-back completions, deep ball after deep ball and I just knew what they were capable of this year," Neville said. "Being a kid from New Orleans, it's your dream to one day grow up and play for LSU."
Being from the New Orleans area, the LSU fandom was something Neville was born with as he remembers watching former Tiger great Jarvis Landry at Lutcher High School, following his career all the way to Baton Rouge and into the pros.
Neville would think to himself, 'that's who I want to be like.'
"Being able to watch him and watch his journey to LSU and to the NFL, he's my favorite receiver and I look up to him a lot," Neville said. "I really try to pay attention to how he makes the tough catches, his body control and really just how smooth a route runner he is. But really I watch his workouts to see what he does to help him translate it to a game so I can incorporate the same things into my game."
Neville moved to Missouri City, Texas where he has become one of the go-to guys for the Hightower High School. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, Neville is currently ranked as the No. 53 receiver on 247Sports, holding offers from SEC powerhouses Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Auburn and of course, LSU.
In regards to his LSU recruitment specifically, Neville's primary contacts were Joe Brady and Mickey Joseph during the season. Now that Brady is off to the NFL, Neville has remained in contact with Joseph and said Joseph has a "different" way of recruiting.
"We don't talk every single day but when we do talk, we talk about personal growth because he really wants to get to know his recruits," Neville said. "I really like how he doesn't try to force the conversation everyday because it's not about forcing relationships, it's about ball at the end of the day."
When the two talk football, Neville said Joseph is impressed by his ability to turn big plays through yards after the catch, comparing him to a few stud receivers that were on the Tigers' 2019 national championship team.
"With my playmaking ability, he says I remind him of a younger Justin Jefferson," Neville said. "He really said a mixture of Terrace Marshall and Justin Jefferson and could see me playing that "X" receiver position or even in the slot."
On that recruiting trip last spring, Neville was able to spend some time with Jefferson and Marshall and with both of those players being Louisiana natives, their message was quite simple to Neville.
“They were just telling me to come home," Neville said. "They really emphasized coming home and being able to play in front of your family and putting on for your city, it's just a different feeling. They also made sure that I knew that if I did decide to go there, I'd be well taken care of, not only by the coaches but by the players as well because it's one team, one heartbeat."
The family aspect of the LSU program is something that coach Ed Orgeron tries to instill in every player he recruits and Neville can certainly feel that when he and his family are on the phone with the Tigers' leading man.
"He's a real good guy, my mom really likes him and he's a family dude," Neville said. "Every time I talk to him, he makes me feel wanted and is always asking about my family and he's just the type of guy you want to play for."
As of now LSU, Penn State, Florida, Auburn, Nebraska and USC are the schools showing the most interest in Neville. The initial plan was for Neville to make official visits this spring with most of those schools and commit on his birthday, May 14.
However due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Neville needs to reschedule those visits which will likely push back a commitment date from the 2021 receiver.
"I had official visits planned to Nebraska, Florida, Auburn, Penn State and LSU but now with the whole coronavirus, I'll probably just drop a top schools soon and make plans for my officials," Neville said.
While his decision won't be coming in the near future, Neville did reiterate just how special it would be to return home and play in front of the LSU faithful, a team he grew up idolizing and rooting for.
"Going back to LSU would mean so much to me just because growing up, every weekend all we did was watch LSU football," Neville said. "Growing up and watching Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, you envision yourself one day being in those guys' positions. Most importantly playing in front of family and friends and putting on for my city would mean a lot."