Neal's wrestling history in focus

February, 15, 2010
2/15/10
3:40
PM ET
Patriots guard Stephen Neal has one of the more unusual stories in terms of his rise to NFL player. He was a championship wrestler at Cal State Bakersfield and didn't play football in college.

Why bring this up today?

As noted by the Bakersfield Californian, Cal State Bakersfield is planning to drop its wrestling program. A Web site with Neal's picture has already been erected in hopes of saving the program, as Neal is one of the program's most distinguished alums, a two-time NCAA Division 1 heavyweight champion.

As for Neal's football future, he said after the Patriots' playoff loss to the Ravens that he was considering retirement. His agent, Jonathan Hurst, has not returned phone calls inquiring if Neal has made a final decision.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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