While the team's was busy scrambling to deal with impact of Hurricane Frances over the weekend, good news came in from an unlikely source. Late last week the NCAA cleared freshman wide receiver Kenny O'Neal to join the team. He did not practice with the team on Tuesday but is expected to join his new teammates on Wednesday.
The speedy wideout reported with the rest of his class in early August and practiced with the team until the start of classes on August 23rd. Since then he has been waiting on word from the NCAA Clearinghouse which had been reviewing his transcript from Skyline High School in Oakland, California.
"Kenny O'Neal got accepted," head coach Bowden said. "He should be registered today."
Prior to getting official word that O'Neal was cleared, Bowden and his staff were less than optimistic given their history with the Clearinghouse.
"It's an iffy situation," Bowden said. "If they can find a flaw or something they won't do it."
While he was in NCAA limbo, the former four-star receiver missed two important weeks of practice. As such, don't expect to see him play in this Friday's Miami game. However, he should see action sometime later this season.
"I think he could catch up eventually but not for this game," Bowden noted.
As a senior at Skyline O'Neal caught 35 passes for 850 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also returned four kickoffs for scores. When the dust settled he was named as one of the top 20 wide receiver prospects in the nation by Rivals.com. His efforts on the football field and on the track earned him Cal-Hi Sports' State Boys Athlete of the Year.