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Nebraska Football: Former UCF safety Tre Neal Joins as Grad Transfer

Adding depth and experience to a thin roster

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Auburn v Central Florida Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nebraska added the transfer of former Central Florida safety Tre Neal Friday afternoon. Tre Neal is eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

A native of Atlanta, Neal adds some much needed depth and experience to a thin secondary.

His 2017 season carries some good highlights:

Delivering UCF to the Peach Bowl

Takeaways against Auburn

Here’s a review of UCF’s secondary from our friends at Underdog Dynasty:

4. UCF: The Knights gave up a lot defensively every game. Luckily, they had an offense that could carry the load. UCF struggled giving up points (25.2) and yards through the air (268.1), but that doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story. This is a group that picked off 20 passes while only allowing 24 touchdowns by opposing quarterbacks. Last year’s group was young an inexperienced, and Mike Hughes is the only player from the secondary gone. Safeties Kyle Gibson (tied Hughes for the team lead in interceptions) and Tre Neal are back to lead what should be a veteran group in 2018.

Also here:

3. The defensive backs look much improved

If you followed UCF last year, it was no secret that the secondary struggled. All season long they allowed big plays through the air which was exposed the most against South Florida. The cornerback position had a lot of youth that will be more experienced this season. The addition of Alabama transfer Aaron Robinson will be huge for the secondary as well. Leadership from both senior starting safeties Tre Neal and Kyle Gibson will play a major key in the success of this unit.

His 2017 stat line for UCF wasn’t bad, with 3 interceptions (1 TD) and 41 solo tackles.

His UCF Bio for 2018:

R-JUNIOR (2017)• Started all 13 games as a safety• Fourth on the team with 68 tackles, which includes 41 unassisted and two for loss• Added three interceptions and three pass break-ups• FIU (8/31): Picked off a pass and added five stops• Memphis (9/30): Recorded five tackles, including two unassisted• at Cincinnati (10/7): Amassed four unassisted tackles• ECU (10/14): Returned an interception for a 50-yard touchdown and tallied three tackles• at Navy (10/21): Had four tackles, including three unassisted• Austin Peay (10/28): Notched four tackles• at SMU (11/4): Totaled eight tackles, including one for loss, and had one forced fumble• UConn (11/11): Registered five tackles and one break-up• at Temple (11/18): Had five tackles, including three solo• South Florida (11/24): Collected seven tackles• Memphis (12/2): Sealed the victory with an interception in double overtime of The American Championship...Also recorded eight tackles and a break-up• vs. Auburn (1/1): Recovered a fumble and returned it 36 yards, adding seven tackles and a pass break-up in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

R-SOPHOMORE (2016)• Played in all 13 games as a defensive back• Recorded 21 tackles, one forced fumble and one blocked kick• South Carolina State (9/3): Had three tackles• at FIU (9/24): Totaled three tackles• at Houston (10/29): Notched two solo tackles and three total tackles• Tulane (11/5): Recorded three tackles• Cincinnati (11/12): Forced a fumble and blocked a kick

R-FRESHMAN (2015)• Started five games at strong safety and played in 12 contests overall• Racked up 55 tackles in 2015 with three break-ups• FIU (9/3): Earned five tackles in his first game as a Knight• at Stanford (9/12): Had a break-up with seven tackles• Houston (10/24): Notched five tackles• at Cincinnati (10/31): Amassed 13 tackles in the game• at Tulsa (11/7): Had a fumble recovery and four tackles• East Carolina (11/19): Delivered 11 tackles with a break-up• USF (11/26): Had five tackles

FRESHMAN (2014)• Honored on to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team• Worked with the scout team throughout the year

HIGH SCHOOL• Coached by Jess Simpson at Buford High School, where he played safety, cornerback and receiver• Received three stars from ESPN and 247Sports• 247Sports also ranks him as the No. 76 safety in the country• Buford won the GHSA AAA state championship in both 2012 and 2013• A 2013 honorable mention all-state choice at defensive back• Grabbed spot on Gwinnett Daily Post 2013 All-County Second Team• Completed senior year with 54 tackles, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three break-ups and two interceptions, while also having 31 receptions for 413 yards and two touchdowns• For his career, had 97 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, eight break-ups and four picks, and on offense notched 66 receptions with 824 yards and five touchdowns• Named to the 2012 7-AAA All-Region First Team as a wide receiver• Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes• Also competed in basketball, baseball and track and field