Lorenzo Neal Ready For One More Season

Fresno, CA, USA But as action news weekend sports anchor David Bataller learned, Neal isn't quite ready to hang up his cleats just yet.

It's been just over 16 years since Lorenzo Neal capped off his bulldog career with a Freedom Bowl win over USC. But the former Pro Bowl fullback still has no plans of slowing down.

"I think I'm still playing at a high level," Neal said. "I can still play football. I still enjoy the game. You know what? Working well, wishing well. I work hard so it's not about wishing it to happen. It will happen."

The 38-year-old Neal is a free agent after spending 2008 with the Baltimore Ravens. But after this weekend's NFL Draft, the four-time Pro Bowler is hoping a spot opens up for a veteran leader.

"It's about getting in watching film," said Neal. "It's about lifting weights. It's about doing the extras. That's why I want to play another year. To be able to help young men, empower them to become students of the game and learn about football."

Regardless of whether or not Neal plays in 2009, the Lemoore native is widely considered the best fullback of his era. He's blocked for 1,000-yard rushers in nine straight seasons, numbers that could get him into the NFL Hall of Fame.

"By people saying that, that just goes to tell you something," said Neal. "By people looking at you and mentioning Hall of Fame. That's the honor. It's the honor behind you not saying it."

But for now, Neal hopes to be putting off Hall of Fame talk for another year. In his mind, he's got a 17th season to prepare for.


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