Spotlight Player: Chris Neild, DT WVU
Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.
West Virginia DT Chris Neild gives new meaning to that axiom. As a standout at Stroudsburg (Pa.) High, Neild helped lead those Mountaineers to consecutive Mountain Valley Conference championships.
Since day one in Morgantown, Neild has been a perfect fit for these Mountaineers as well. No word better exemplifies West Virginia defenses through the years than toughness, and Neild is spilling over with it. He’s a space eater, he’s athletic (a three-year prep letter winner in basketball) and he’s durable. Want proof? Last year West Virginia edged Connecticut in a classic showdown that had all the makings of a heavyweight slugfest, and Neild was front and center for the whole thing. Not only was the Mountaineer DT on the field for a staggering 81 snaps (try that on for size when you’re listed at over 300 lbs), but he also intercepted a pass at the West Virginia 27-yard line with less than a minute remaining to seal the win. Against South Florida Neild hyper extended his back in the second quarter but remained in the line-up to finish the game with four tackles…Don’t try that at home.