Okeechobee native Evan Neal came back to Okeechobee this week to receive a special honor from the city o when he was presented the key to the city at the city council meeting.
Neal says he feels extremely honored by the gesture.
Neal grew up in Okeechobee and his entire family still lives here. Evan played his freshman year at Okeechobee High School before transferring to IMG Academy and eventually playing his college ball at Alabama. Neal has always displayed his love for his home town, even coming back to OHS to announce his decision to attend Alabama on national television. Evan says his relationship with Okeechobee has always been special.
Since January when Neal declared for the NFL draft until he hears his name called on April 28th, Neal has been through a whirlwind draft process that included the NFL Draft combine, his pro day at Alabama and numerous visits to NFL cities across the country.
Evan has visits schedule this week and next to Jacksonville and New York to visit both the Giants and Jets.
There have been many draft projections on where Evan will be drafted. Anywhere from number one over to Jacksonville and later. Just about every mock draft has Neal being taken in the top 10. Neal says he sees the mocks, but doesn’t pay a lot of attention even calling them rat poison.
The draft will be held in Las Vegas this year and Evan has been invited and accepted an invitation. Neal is most excited to hear his name called but wants to enjoy the overall experience.
Evan’s eventual early round draft selection comes at the same time that another Okeechobee native, Kutter Crawford learned that he made the opening day Boston Red Sox roster. Neal says he has been following Crawfords career and is very proud of his fellow Okeechobee peer.