After missing 2019 season with injury, Purdue DL returns ahead of opener vs. Iowa
Purdue’s defensive line is receiving a major boost heading into the 2020 season.
On Friday, Tom Dienhart of Gold and Black Illustrated reported that defensive lineman Lorenzo Neal, who missed all of the 2019 season with a knee injury, is back on the field for the Boilermakers. Neal says he’s “feeling great” as Purdue prepares for the season opener against Iowa on Oct. 24.
Neal sustained an injury in the 2018 regular season finale against Indiana and was never able to get healthy enough to return to the field for the 2019 season. Considered one of the team’s best defensive players, Neal’s absence from the trenches was a big blow for the Boilers during a 4-8 season.
He’s baaaaaack. The wait is over. DT Lorenzo Neal finally is returning for #Purdue after missing 2019 recovering from a knee injury.
“I figured I had eligibility left to play a whole season, so I needed to get back out here and play again with my guys."https://t.co/6QnC8fRgCa pic.twitter.com/w65uPcpjdl
— Tom Dienhart (@TomDienhart1) October 16, 2020
Feeling healthy and ready to play, Neal is ready to get back on the field and help a defense that’s going through some changes. Following a disappointing year in 2019, head coach Jeff Brohm parted ways with defensive coordinator Nick Holt and brought in experienced DC Bob Diaco.
It’s been a learning process for Neal and the rest of the Purdue defense, but the Boilers are certainly in a better situation with the seasoned veteran back on the field.
Over three seasons on the field, Neal has collected 63 tackles, 11.5 stops for loss, 4 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.
Purdue’s game against Iowa is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Boilers are 2-1 against the Hawkeyes under Brohm.