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Early Signing Day: big DL Curt Neal signs with Wisconsin’s 2022 class

The nose tackle from North Carolina will enroll with Wisconsin early after missing last season with an ACL injury.

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2022 DL Curt Neal

Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
Defensive line 6-foot-2 305 pounds William Amos Hough (N.C.) High School 3-star; No. 64 DL

With Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense, there is always a need for beef on the defensive front. In defensive lineman Curt Neal, the Badgers certainly picked up a big player to plug the gaps at nose tackle, and he is also one of the highest rated players in their class.

The 6-foot-1 and 290-pound 3-star defensive lineman from Cornelius, N.C. — a suburb of Charlotte right on Lake Norman — will be hoping to compete right away for a spot on the defensive line.

Neal was unable to play last year for William Amos Hough High School — the same high school as another Badger defensive lineman, Gio Paez — because of recovery from an ACL injury but plans to enroll early for the Badgers.


247 Composite: 3 stars; grade: .8817; No. 465 player in the nation; No. 64 DL; No. 14 NC

247 Sports: 3 stars; grade: 88; No. 69 DL; No. 10 NC

Rivals: 3 stars; 5.7 rating; No. 39 DL; No. 13 NC

ESPN: 4 stars; Grade: 80; No. 27 DL; No. 135 Regional; No. 8 NC

Verbally committed on June 25, 2021

Wisconsin offered Neal first way back in September 2018. He went on to pick up over 30 offers — including from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Penn State — but it seemed Wisconsin had cooled on the prospect as he said there was little communication with the coaches. But in 2020, the Badgers again re-opened the talks and got him on campus for a visit the first weekend in June.

The battle came down to the Badgers and Ohio State and Neal picked UW.

Player bio (courtesy of UW Athletic Department)

  • Four–star recruit by ESPN and three–star recruit by Rivals and 247Sports
  • Missed his senior season due to injury
  • Earned first–team all–state honors as a junior
  • As a junior, tallied 32 tackles, 7 TFLs and 3.0 sacks
  • Earned all–state mention as a sophomore with 52 tackles and 5.0 sacks