Connor Neville Has Solid Day in Hayward
by Lorenzo Reyna
Washington State commit Connor Neville brought the “lazer show” from the Pacific Northwest to Chabot College on April 10 - and ended up beaming past some of the best defenders in California at Passing Down’s Northern California regional.
The Class of 2017 prospect arrived to the tournament as the No. 1 quarterback in Oregon according to scout.com and proved he was worth the hype. Neville used his powerful right arm to unleash the long ball toward his wide receivers Austin Kramer and Parker Cardwell throughout the day, averaging over four touchdown passes per game for Team E Force Oregon Breed.
Neville, who verbally committed to the Cougars during Washington State’s Junior Day on April 2, said he and his Oregon comrades came to PD with a chip on their shoulder; they wanted to make their statement against the top talent from their neighboring state of California.
“It [the Oregon talent] is extremely slept on,” Neville said. “This year, we have over 10 kids who hold five NCAA DI offers. We’re on the come up for sure. We’re heavily slept on and we can compete with anyone.”
Neville not only displayed his mad bomber side, but also showed pinpoint accuracy in the short game as his club team landed a No. 1 seed in their pod before losing to Best of the West qualifier TMP Elite in the round of 16.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder held other offers from Hawaii and Boise State out of the Mountain West. Neville added that Central Florida of the American Athletic Conference was close to offering him before he decided to pull the trigger on Wazzu’s pledge.
“I’m really excited about that [going to Washington State],” Neville said, who added that his Junior Day experience led to his early college announcement, saying “It was fun. We got to practice and I got a chance to talk to Luke Falk [the current starting quarterback for the Cougars]. I loved everything about the way they practiced, loved their facilities, I loved everything about Washington State.”
His interactions with head coach Mike Leach brought more sense of excitement for the Passing Down alum.
“Coach Leach told me that I was the first kid he offered in the 2017 class and we love you a lot,” Neville said. “With what Coach Leach has done in the past few years with his offense, you can’t pass up an opportunity like that. Every quarterback’s dream is to air it out in college. I get the opportunity to do that soon.”
If he stays true to his word about heading to Pullman, Wash. after his prep career ends, Neville will be going to an offense that averaged 389.15 yards through the air and scored 41 passing touchdowns. The good news for Cougar fans? He said he’s fully committed to Washington State.
His club team may have fallen short of a Best of the West bid, but Neville and E Force Oregon Breed emerged as the talk of the tournament with their offensive fireworks under the cloudy Bay Area sky. While he’s used to receiving high praise, he tries to stay even keeled about the recognition.
“It feels good. I’ve worked so hard and everyone around me has made me great. I don’t really pay attention to that stuff but it does feel good [to be recognized],” Neville said.