Welcome to Day 4 of WIN Magazine’s countdown to the 2023 Final...
Stephen Neal, 1999 Hodge Trophy winner
From Cal-State Bakersfield Sports Information
Cal State Bakersfield’s most decorated wrestler was CSUB’s once-in-a-lifetime wrestler who competed for the Roadrunners from 1996-99. Despite only placing fourth at the CIF State Championships as a high school senior, Neal bought into the CSUB program and developed into the world’s top wrestler.
Neal, a San Diego native, completed his career at CSUB as a four-time All-American and a two-time undefeated NCAA Division I champion. Neal went on to sweep through the world’s best competition in 1999. He started by becoming the 1999 U.S. Freestyle champion, and continued to win the Pan-American Games and eventually the world championship the same year.
For his efforts in 1999, Neal was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Wrestler of the Year and the FILA International Freestyle Wrestler of the Year.
Despite his wrestling ability, the call of the NFL was too appealing, and Neal took a shot in football even though he hadn’t played the sport since high school. Originally picked up by New England, Neal spent a short time in Philadelphia before being snatched away again by the Patriots where he has found a home at the right guard position.
Neal was picked as a preseason starter on the offensive line in 2003, but an early-season shoulder injury ended his season prematurely. After a successful rehab stint, he became a regular starter in 2004. Neal and the Patriots have won three of the last four Super Bowls and are the defending NFL Champs entering the 2005 season.
The following are Stephen Neal’s career statistics at Cal-State Bakersfield.
|Season||School||Year of Eligibilty||Bouts||W||L||T||Falls||W Pct.||All-American||Weight|