When new players transfer into a program, it can upset the apple cart. If that new player was also successful playing for the current coaching staff at a previous job? It can add another layer to the whole mix.
Meet graduate transfer safety Tre Neal.
Neal started all 13 games at Central Florida last season, totaling 68 tackles and three interceptions. The decision to follow coach Scott Frost and his assistants across the country was a no-brainer for Neal. Yet, that wasn't the number one reason he made the move.
“I had the ability once I graduated to pursue a graduate degree,” Neal said. “I looked around trying to see what kind of graduate studies I wanted to do. Once I found out they had what I wanted to do here, I thought that was a pretty easy choice as far as where I wanted to go. I called a couple of the coaches here and they said they’d take me. I’m glad they gave me that opportunity. I have to set myself up for the next 40 years. I love UCF and all that but they didn’t have my graduate program and that’s the only reason I left there.”
Neal is now pre-med student at Nebraska pursuing that very specific graduate degree: dentistry. He was initiually drawn to anesthesiology, but he felt the hours might be better for a family in the dental world.
Education has always been a priority for Neal and his family. He learned at a young age that his parents meant business when it came to his work in the classroom.
“My mom and dad they told me academics first," Neal said. "I missed plenty of games when I was little because I had bad grades. Once I understood that, I started taking my grades more seriously. Once I had the opportunity to graduate, I looked and Nebraska had my grad program. I didn’t want to waste another six months down there [at UCF]. I looked around and found my academics here.
"Of course, I have aspirations to go to the next level. If I can do that, great but if not, I want to have a plan to set myself up after football."
Now that he's officially at Nebraska, Neal can be a model for his new teammates both on and off the field. While he'd love to make an impact in Lincoln on the football field, he also realizes that there is a great opportunity for success beyond the gridiron.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.