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December 28, 2008MORE: U.S. Army All-American Bowl coverage | Army AA Bowl rosters | More all-star coverage
SAN ANTONIO - Bryce McNeal brought four hats with him to San Antonio.
The four-star wide receiver from Minneapolis (Minn.) Breck will make his college decision during the US Army All-American Bowl this coming Saturday.
"Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota and Clemson are my finalists," McNeal said. "It was difficult to narrow it down. There were two other schools (Oklahoma and Kentucky) that were in the running, but they just didn't have as many positives going for them."
McNeal admitted that he already knows which program he will choose.
"I am actually doing a lot of recruiting for them behind the scenes," McNeal said. "But I can't tell you where I'm trying to recruit them to, yet."
McNeal originally committed to Michigan, but withdrew his verbal pledge and re-opened his recruiting process in October.
"It had nothing to do with them having a bad year," McNeal said of his decision to de-commit from Michigan. "A lot of people think that, but that's not me at all. That's not my character. Really, I just felt that I committed too early and there were other schools that I didn't give enough of an opportunity to recruit me."
Coaches from each of McNeal's final four stopped by his home before the dead period.
"Coach Eric Kiesau, the wide receivers coach from Colorado, stopped by multiple times," he explained. "He is the coach I get along with the most. I talk to him the most. He is a wonderful guy. I can tell he cares about me not only as a football player but also as a person. [Head] coach Dan Hawkins also came by and he brought five assistant coaches with him.
"With Oregon, [head] coach Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly, their offensive coordinator, stopped by. Oregon is a good program. I feel like I would have a good opportunity to play there. I also took unofficial visits to UCLA and Cal, two other west coast schools, but Oregon was different. It had more of a Midwest vibe.
"With Minnesota being in-state, I have always liked them a lot. I have lived in Minnesota my whole life. They were my second offer. Coach George McDonald, their wide receivers coach, came in twice and [head] coach Tim Brewster came in with seven other coaches the last time.
"Clemson was my number two before I committed to Michigan. I was going to take my last official visit to Kentucky, but Clemson called me one night and asked me if I would change it up and go there instead. I had an in-home visit with them and they kind of caught me up to speed. I ended up taking a visit there. Probably the biggest positive about Clemson is that all their coaches are Christians."
McNeal is the top-ranked prospect from the North Star State this recruiting cycle.
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