Over the summer, The Juice Online will be featuring players on the 2018 Syracuse football team as we countdown to kickoff. Today, The Juice Online looks at running back Moe Neal.
If you compare a photo of Moe Neal from his freshman year in 2016 to how he looks today, you would notice a big difference.
“He came in a little bit small but he’s been really putting on weight,” quarterback Eric Dungey said during ACC Kickoff. “Moe has really transformed his body.”
Neal has been one of SU’s most dedicated players in the gym, and the difference is showing. He arrived in 2016 at a spindly 169 pounds. He’s now listed at 191.
“Every week in the weight room he’s been PR’ing, whether it’s bench squat or hang clean,” Dungey said. “He can do a lot. He’s very fast, very quick, and he’s very savvy.”
In his first two years on campus, Neal has proven himself as one of Syracuse’s most versatile players.
In 24 games, he’s rushed for 845 yards and three touchdowns on 163 carries and has also caught 14 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown. The first rush of his career resulted in a 49-yard score.
In spring practices, Neal lined up at receiver, helping out a group that lacks experience and depth. But he has completed a full transition to running back, where he’s No. 2 on the depth chart behind Dontae Strickland.
The added weight should help keep Neal’s production against the bigger, stronger players in the ACC, especially as the season gets into November.
“[He’s] one of our top players and one of the guys that can really make some plays for us,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said. “I think he’s gotten a lot bigger, he’s added some weight to his frame, and hopefully he’ll continue and be more consistent with his explosiveness.”
Inside slant: Consistency will be important for Neal, specifically in the latter half of the schedule. “Hopefully he’ll continue and be more consistent with his explosiveness and be able to make plays for us carrying the football, especially in those later months in November,” Babers said. If he can be healthy and continue to make plays, he’ll be one of the Orange’s most productive players.
- Birthdate: November, 1997
- Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
- High School: Forestview
- Position: Running Back
- Class: Junior
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 191 lbs
Career highlights: Neal has a career average of 5.3 yards per rush and 12.6 yards per reception. Neal started the final two games of the 2017 season, and rushed for 98 yards on 19 carries against Louisville and 88 yards on 13 rushes against Boston College.