Personal: Camp 2009: Neal should be one of the top defensive linemen in the Big Ten.
2009: Received team's Hammer Award (outstanding hitter) for spring season... team co-captain.
2008: Appeared in all 12 games, including 11 starts ... ranked second on team with 5.5 sacks and third with 10.0 tackles for loss ... had 33 tackles (18 solo, 15 assists) ... tied career-high with five tackles at Notre Dame on Sept. 27 (1 solo, 4 assists), at Northwestern on Oct. 18 (4 solo, 1 assist) and at Iowa on Nov. 15 (all assists) ... recorded career-high two sacks at Northwestern on Oct. 18 ... came up with 1.5 tackles for loss vs. Central Michigan on Sept. 20, at Notre Dame on Sept. 27 and vs. Minnesota on Oct. 25.
2007: Appeared in all 13 games ... recorded 22 tackles (10 solo, 12 assists), including 3.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks, with one pass breakup ... recorded sack at Toledo on Sept. 1 ... had career-high five tackles (2 solo, 3 assists), including 1.5 for loss and 1.0 sack, vs. Central Michigan in Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26.
2006: Appeared in nine games as reserve ... had nine tackles (8 solo, 1 assist), including 1.0 for loss, and one pass breakup ... missed five games with turf toe injury ... had two tackles (both solo) at Michigan State on Nov. 4 ... recorded tackle for loss vs. Indiana on Nov. 18 ... had season-high three tackles (all solo) and a pass breakup vs. Maryland in Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29.
2005: Did not play.
High School: Ranked as No. 29 strongside defensive end in nation and No. 6 player in Indiana by Rivals.com ... No. 33 defensive end in nation by Collegefootballnews.com ... No. 56 overall prospect in Midwest by Prep Football Report ... first team all-state as senior after totaling 59 tackles, including 24 for loss and 12 sacks, with 20 quarterback hurries, six pass breakups and one blocked kick ... had 49 tackles, including 14 for loss and four sacks, with three pass breakups and one fumble recovery as junior ... coach was Jeff Yelton ... also played basketball.
Personal: Given name is Michael Jamel Neal ... born June 26, 1987 ... health and fitness major ... enjoys watching TV and studying ... father, Michael, played football at Weber State.
Neal exhibits an explosive first step off the ball and does a good job keeping his base down through contact and delivering a powerful initial jolt. He has the lower body strength to consistently win at the point of attack and overwhelm blockers one-on-one on contact. He displays the overall strength to collapse the pocket and possesses the balance to contact blockers at the point and work his way to the ball. He exhibits good range when asked to chase the play in pursuit and knows how to sit into his stance and anchor vs. the run game. But Neal needs to learn to do a better job shedding blocks on contact and using his hands to keep himself clean inside. He possesses the overall power and athletic ability to routinely gain a step and be around the ball but struggles to disengage and consistently finish on the play.