Hardworking, tough and passionate.
These three words sum up the 6’3″ and 255-pound Bishop Kenny 2020 Defensive/Offensive Tackle from Jacksonville, Florida.
Neil Politano is impressive both on and off of the field and credits much of his success to his family’s continuous support. His mother has made numerous road trips to camps and has made sure all three of the Politano brothers never miss a practice. Mrs. Politano believes in her boys and has selflessly sacrificed so that they have the opportunity to succeed at the next level for football.
Off the field, Politano puts in hard work in the classroom and is a great student. He takes honors classes and maintains a 3.4 GPA. The academics of a college are an important aspect that he will be factoring into his decision of which institution he will attend.
What motivates Politano when he is out on the football field?
He wants to be the best football player he can be. Neil loves everything about football and that passion drives him to work to be the best version of himself on the field. According to Politano, the player that he tries to model his game after is Houston Texas defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. He thinks that Clowney is a beast on the field and is a defensive game changer. Politano knows he will be a game changer too.
Politano’s message to programs trying to recruit him is simple:
“I’m willing to work really hard, until there is nothing left in the tank. I’m humble and a leader.”
Blue 57 Scouting built an entire company around merging psychology with football recruiting in Florida and Georgia. The company believes in knowing the athletes and has the understanding that the why matters. Blue 57 has a profile on Neil Politano and over 500 D1 prospects throughout Florida and Georgia.
Blue 57 Sports psychologist Kaela Harmon, who lives and covers top football players in Florida stated, “Maturity is just one term that comes to mind after speaking with Neil Politano. He thrives off of being pushed that extra mile from coaches, when most would quit, Politano is still chugging along full steam ahead. He values a coach that demands more from his players even when things are going well, in order to help further their individual growth. He has the maturity and football IQ to understand that he must listen to the message the coach is getting across, rather than focusing on the tone they use to say it.”
Lucas Thorp, a Blue 57 Scout in Central Florida said, “To sum up Politano in one word: nasty. He finishes blocks on offense and uses his upper body with violence to disengage on defense. Great instincts finding the ball and gets there with bad intentions. Takes great angles to the ball carrier. Offensively, in pass sets, he plays with good hip/knee bend and has good hand placement on defenders.”
Kevin Hemmings, who scouts South Florida for Blue 57, stated that “Neil excels with a quick first step, leverage on his opponents and hustle. He is quick off the line and shoots gaps to be a disruption in both the rush and pass game. He delivers blows on both sides of the ball and controls his matchups with his hands. On offense, he is hard to disengage and on defense he is even harder to keep blocked. His athleticism allows him to pull and reach defenders in the second level and allows him to recover in pass protection. ”
Harmon continued with, “Faith and Neil go hand in hand, and he is currently working towards becoming a Eucharistic minister. His beliefs motivate him to continue to fearlessly work hard because he knows he has Jesus with him at the line of scrimmage.”
Harmon added, “Neil’s father is also a huge motivating factor for him. Mr. Politano comes from a less-than privileged background, but fought tooth and nail to earn everything he has. Neil aspires to mimic the same type of work ethic and determination his father has. He lives by the motto ‘live everyday like it’s your last’ and practices that by constantly giving 100% in every drill, game, or challenge set before him.”
“Neil is the middle child in his family & middle kids like to prove themselves. He trains with John Chick at Iron Will Fitness that played defensive end in the CFL ,so he will get there. He is a well-rounded individual and possesses a sound moral compass. He is the complete package,” concluded Harmon.
So far, Neil has had coaches visit him from University of Texas, University of Central Florida, Florida International University and Harvard. He is expecting another big camp season this summer and looking forward to it all. So is his family.
Michael Mannen is a The Subway Alum contributor and sports journalist for the Blue 57 Scouting Network covering college football recruiting & football psychology in Florida & Georgia. Blue 57 is an approved NCAA scouting service.