Former Florida and current Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal already has the support of his new defensive coordinator, Richard Smith. Smith praised the rookie’s maturity and told the Falcons’ official website that he believes Neal will be a “pretty special” player.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ve been very impressed with (Neal),” defensive coordinator Richard Smith said, via the team’s official website. “He’s extremely focused, he’s very mature, he’s very, very talented. I love his demeanor and his work ethic. He’s the first one in the building trying to get more coaching; he wants to be coached so much. I think he’s going to be pretty special.”

Neal played in 34 games and made 19 starts during his three seasons at Florida. He recorded 96 tackles, an interception and two sacks in 2016.

Atlanta selected Neal with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Neal will compete with Kemal Ishmael and Charles Godfrey for the starting job this offseason.