METAIRIE, La. – As an all-pro full-back, Lorenzo Neal made a 16-year career paving the way for some of the NFL’s great runners. Now Neal’s son is following in his footsteps.
Former Purdue defender Lorenzo Neal Jr. signed on Sunday as an unoccupied rookie free agent with the New Orleans Saints, the same team that designed his father in 1993.
Neal Jr. was signed after he was invited to try out during the Saints’ weekend rookie minicamp. The team also signed linebacker Quentin Poling and offensive lineman Kyle Murphy after tryouts.
I start my career in the same place as my Pops ⚜️⚜️ https://t.co/OXkRQu96k5
– Lorenzo Neal (@ loneal_9) May 17, 2021
Neal Jr. (6-foot-3,325 pounds) was an Honorable Mention of the Coaches’ All-Big Ten selection in both 2018 and 2020. However, his career was disrupted by a torn ACL that sidelined him for the entire 2019 season. He finished his college career with 73 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 forced fumbling in 38 games.
Neal Sr. started his career as a traffic jam with the Saints but became a full-back after an ankle injury in his rookie year. He spent four seasons in New Orleans before playing for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.
Neal was a member of the 2000s All Decade Team, two-time All-Pro selection of the first team and four-time Pro Bowler. He had an 11-year ban on 1000-yard rushers, including five with Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego.
Neal also made a huge impact on Drew Brees as a supportive teammate early on in Brees’ career with the Chargers.