By Alex Strouf
We’re in the midst of football season, so let’s talk football.
Each year in November, the National Football League announces 25 semi-finalists for the historic Hall of Fame. These 25 semi-finalists are decided by a fan vote.
This year, much like years prior, the card is absolutely stacked with men who laid their bodies on the line each and every week and absolutely deserve their name in the Hall of Fame.
A 48-person committee compiles a list of 108 modern-era NFL players for the fans to vote from for the 25 semi-finalists.
Among this year’s list, wideouts Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Randy Moss, Torry Holt, Hines Ward and Chad Johnson, quarterbacks Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair and Randall Cunningham, running backs Tiki Barber, Herschel Walker, Eddie George and Fred Taylor, offensive linemen Jeff Saturday, Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, linebackers Tedi Bruschi, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Zach Thomas, defensive backs Ty Law, John Lynch, Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, Brian Dawkins, Darren Woodson and Rodney Harrison.
That’s 28 names, and those are just some of the ones I voted for.
There’s even more notable names like WR Donald Driver, coaches Mike Holmgren and Bill Cowher, and QB Rich Gannon on that same ballot.
There has likely never been a ballot this stacked with potential inductees, but there is one that deserves immense consideration that I’ve looked over.
2000s All-Decade member, four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro fullback. He blocked for eight straight 1000-yard seasons for running backs like Warrick Dunn, Eddie George, Corey Dillon and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Lorenzo Neal is undoubtedly the best blocking fullback in the history of the league.
Listen: Lorenzo Neal joins The Bandwagon Podcasthttps://www.podbean.com/media/player/bkck2-77a632?from=yiiadmin
As mentioned in The Bandwagon Podcast, Neal talks about blocking for guys like Tomlinson, but also guys like Le’Ron McClain.
“Go look at [McClain’s] full career,” said Neal. “Go look at his year when I was leading the way for him and Ray Rice.”
Neal, who was teammates with McClain and Rice in 2008 with the Baltimore Ravens.
McClain set career highs that year in yardage, with 902 rushing yards, along with highs in rushing touchdowns (10) and attempts (292).
The stats outside of the season McClain was selected as a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler are largely thanks to Neal, who led the way for fellow running backs the same way he did McClain in ’08.
Chart courtesy of Pro Football Reference
The stats are undeniable. Just look at every running back this stud has ever blocked for.
I’ll leave you with this:
That’s just one example of many, but I’ll leave you with a quote from Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
“Fullbacks don’t get the credit they deserve. There isn’t a fullback in the Hall of Fame and I think it’s time we start putting fullbacks in the Hall of Fame. [Neal] deserves it.”
It’s time to give credit where credit is due.
Vote for Lorenzo Neal.