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Kansas Jayhawk running back and Lawrence, Kansas native Devin Neal will be returning for the 2024-25 season. He made the official announcement on social media on January 11th, but it was speculated and agreed upon that he would likely suit up for his hometown team one last time to potentially bring the Jayhawks a Big 12 title and improve his NFL Draft stock. Neal has been with the Jayhawks since the 2021 season and has quickly risen through the ranks of the greatest Jayhawk running backs of all time. He is a tried and true leader of this Jayhawk program and they will welcome him back with open arms in pursuit of the Big 12 title. You can learn more about his leadership and character here at College Football Dawgs.

Real Deal Devin Neal

This past season Neal rushed for 1,280 yards (6.3 yards/carry average) and 16 touchdowns on 203 carries. He also caught 25 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown. He lost no fumbles throughout the year and is one of the most sure-handed, intelligent backs in not only the Big 12 but all of the NCAA. His ability to find gaps in the defense and use the hashes to his advantage is matched by very, very few, and he will be pursuing even more success at the college level in the coming year. Neal is currently 2nd in all-time rushing yards at Kansas at 3,077, trailing just June Henley's 3,841 yards between 1993 and 1996. He has every opportunity to break it with another great season in the backfield.

What Neal's Return Means for Kansas

Devin Neal is already in legend status among the Kansas faithful. A Lawrence native with great intangibles, leadership skills, and athletic skills, Neal quickly developed a reputation for not only being a star athlete but also a team leader and program guy. He brings droves of experience, motivation, and athletic prowess, which made him a hot commodity for NFL Draft boards even as early as this year. With another year under his belt, Neal could slot himself into a Day 1 draft spot depending on how he performs. He was a preseason Doak Walker candidate last year, and by all accounts will be this year, but he will be out to prove that he belongs on the finalist list come December 2024.

Kansas will be getting back arguably their best player, along with returning a large bulk of their starting lineup to boot. Top that with a solid transfer class as well as the best high school recruiting class in Kansas history, and the Jayhawks are poised to make a good run at a Big 12 title, along with further postseason success. Neal's return only increases that likelihood, and being a Lawrence native and lifelong Jayhawk, he'll bring that fire and fury to will the Jayhawks to further program development and success.


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