Redshirt senior wide receiver Michael McNeely is the first of two offensive skill position players to wear the number 30. McNeely has made an impact on the field, despite is walk-on status and diminutive stature. He’s played in every year he’s been in Gainesville, save most of the 2012 season when he suffered a fractured foot before fall camp. This will be McNeely’s last season in Orange and Blue, so hopefully he’ll be able to get in the stat column. He’s played in 24 games over his career.
At Palm Harbor University High School in Clearwater, FL, McNeely was a prolific athlete. He set records in football, competed at the highest level in track, and was a four year starter on the basketball team. For the Hurricanes track team, McNeely placed second in the district during the 2009 season. On the hardwood, he earned team MVP honors his junior and senior seasons and was recognized as a Pinellas County All-Star during his senior campaign. On the gridiron, he was just as productive. McNeely was once again named to the Pinellas County All-Star team in 2009, but this time in football. He also set PHUHS records for receptions and yards in a single season during his junior season and career records for receptions and yards. McNeely finished off his high school career with 34 catches for 453 yards.
McNeely’s measureables include a 4.69 40 time, 4.23 second shuttle, 31 inch vertical, and 9-2 broad jump. He also measures at 5-8, 176 pounds. He got it done in the classroom as well, graduating with a 4.7 GPA, an 1860 SAT score, and a 28 on the ACT.
When McNeely arrived at UF, he saw the field right away, dressing for 12 of the 13 games, appearing in seven on the kickoff unit. His sophomore season would have seen more of the same, but he fractured his foot in the summer and missed all but four games of the season. McNeely still saw time on special teams and as a reserve WR after rehabbing the injury. Last season, he played in all 12 games, playing roles on special teams and as a reserve wideout. McNeely earned UF’s President’s Academic Award given to the team’s top student-athlete.
This season, McNeely will look for that first elusive catch or tackle as he looks to officially become a part of the Florida record books. He’s put together a good career to this point, so much so that former offensive coordinator Brent Pease went out to say that McNeely’s injury “hurt…because he was having a good camp. That kid was going to help us [at wideout].” Hopefully this season, he can make the kind of impact that was expected in 2012. He’ll have a new offense to take part in with the arrival of Kurt Roper, but he could very well wind up in the stat book, putting a cap on a solid collegiate career.