Rookie phenom Jerrime Neal looks to be the next dynamic wide receiver to make the leap from the Indoor Football League to the next level. After winning a championship game in his first professional season, did he do enough on the field to garner attention?
Indoor Football League Opens Doors for Neal
Jerrime Neal is another one of these explosive wide receivers, that serves many purposes for his offense. His versatility, and breakaway speed are what make him so good in the indoor game. Now if he was able to play on a bigger field, with more room to work, we could see a break out season early on in Neal’s career if he is given the chance he is hoping for.
Having attended Bacone University, and later Langston University, his name was not high on the list of wide receivers entering the 2021 NFL Draft. This should come as no surprise, as NFL scouts tend to disregard any player who hasn’t played for a Division I school. After the draft, Neal decided his best opportunity to showcase himself was to play with The Spring League in 2020 and 2021 seasons.
He would catch 5 passes and total just over 50 yards. Averaging over 11 yards per reception. A man known for his yards after catch ability, Neal is a contributor on special teams as well. Although during his time with the Wranglers, he hasn’t had a chance to really showcase this skill with just 2 returns for 40 yards.
Role in the Offense
As a rookie, Neal joined a solid team with veterans ahead of him at wide receiver. Despite this fact he carved out a role immediately. He would go on to snare 26 passes for 336 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. Although his receptions would rank fourth on the team, his touchdown number placed him third on the team behind only their top receiver and starting running back.
Neal is another of these smaller, but more versatile wide receivers that have become a trend in recent seasons. In 2022 two names in particular stick out as NFL comparisons. Tyreek Hill, and Kavontae Turpin. Neal stands 5’10 180 lbs, so a bit taller than Hill or Turpin, but comes in between the two in terms of weight. He logged 6 carries for 26 yards last season with the Wranglers.
True Triple Threat
In his first professional season, Neal managed some noticeable feats. As mentioned before, he ranked 4th on the team in receptions, 3rd on the team in touchdowns, he also helped his team to a 15-4 record and a Championship victory. He was able to total 34 touches for 402 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie. Imagine what he can do next.
The question is what’s the next move for Neal? Was this performance enough to open eyes, and maybe even doors for the future of his career? Does he return to NAZ to continue building momentum?