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Stephen Neal

Neal during an August 28, 2009 preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
No. 61     New England Patriots
Guard
Personal information
Date of birth: October 9, 1976 (1976-10-09) (age 33)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 305 lb (138 kg)
Career information
College: Cal State-Bakersfield
Undrafted in 2001
Debuted in 2002 for the New England Patriots
Career history
 As player:
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Games played     78
Games started     73
Fumbles recovered     0
Stats at NFL.com

Stephen Matthew Neal (born October 9, 1976 in San Diego, California) is an American football guard for the New England Patriots of the National Football League and former national champion amateur wrestler. He was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He attended Cal State-Bakersfield.

Neal has earned three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. He has also been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Contents

Early years

Neal attended Poway High School in San Diego, California and was a letterman in football, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and track and field. In wrestling, as a senior, he posted a 45-2 record and placed fourth at the California State Wrestling Tournament in the 189 pound weight class.

Wrestling career

Neal is a native of San Diego, California. He did not play football in college. Instead he was one of the top wrestlers in the nation at Cal State-Bakersfield. He compiled a 151-10 record. He placed fourth in NCAA Division I as a freshman and second as a sophomore before winning titles his junior and senior year. His final title in 1999 came via a win over future NCAA wrestling champion, WWE Champion, and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. In 1999, Neal won the Dan Hodge Award - known as the Heisman Trophy of wrestling - following a year in which he won the U.S. Freestyle Championship, the Pan-American Games title and the World Championships at 286 pounds. In 1999 he also won the FILA outstanding wrestler award, an honor given to the best wrestler in the world. His 1999 season led up to the 2000 Summer Olympics trials where Kerry McCoy edged him for the trip to Sydney. After the trials, Neal retired from amateur wrestling.

Football career

New England Patriots

He was signed by the New England Patriots on July 23, 2001. He didn't play at all that year, or in 2003, but due to injuries on the offensive line, he was thrust into the starting lineup for the 2004 season. Neal re-signed with the Patriots after testing the free-agency market following the 2005 season.

On March 5, 2010, Stephen Neal was re-signed to a 2-year contract.[1]

References

External links








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