Wednesday may have been a national holiday, but it was business as usual for LSU football.
The Tigers continued to stockpile commitments at a rapid pace when Wilson, N.C., defensive end Lewis Neal announced before a hometown baseball crowd that he planned to sign with LSU.
Neal, 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, had earlier committed to Ohio State.
Neal said he chose to announce his commitment between innings of the Wilson Tobs game Wednesday night because he wanted to make his community part of the moment. The Tobs are part of the Coastal Plains League, a collegiate summer league covering North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Neal made the LSU pledge official when he revealed an LSU undershirt and donned an LSU hat, giving Les Miles & Co. their 19th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class. Lewis is the third defensive end to join the group of commitments, following earlier commitments by Michael Patterson from Winnfield and Frank Herron from Memphis, Tenn.
In his first two years as a starter at Hunt High, Neal helped the team reach a spot in the state semifinals each year.
Neal had 88 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles as a junior. As a sophomore, he had 96 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Neal is listed by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 26 weakside defensive end and by ESPN as the nation’s No. 38 defensive end overall. He made an unofficial visit to LSU in June, shortly after receiving a scholarship offer from the Tigers.