Lorenzo Neal on inducting LT into HOF: “Greatest honor of my career”
By Matt Pagels
Former Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal will be the one to induct LaDainian Tomlinson into the Hall of Fame in August. Neal played a huge role in Tomlinson’s success.
LaDainian Tomlinson will always be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football.
As the star running back of the San Diego Chargers, Tomlinson was in the spotlight from the moment he stepped onto the field. His former teammate Lorenzo Neal wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean Neal didn’t play a big part in Tomlinson’s career.
Neal did all the dirty work and paved the way for Tomlinson from 2003 to 2007. Tomlinson ranked in the top 10 in rushing yards in each of those seasons, including leading the league in rushing in 2006 and 2007. In 2017, Neal will again be by Tomlinson’s side, inducting him into the Hall of Fame.
Neal feels honored to be the one to call Tomlinson’s name.
“I’m just so grateful and elated, and I don’t take this moment lightly,” Neal said, via Chargers.com. “It is the greatest honor of my career. There are so many other impactful players, and Hall of Famers who are still playing, to do it. He could have asked any of those guys like Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates or Drew Brees. But yet, still, I felt he chose the lesser. The guy who is just the fullback, which is a position which doesn’t get much praise or anything.”
Neal is right: Fullbacks don’t get much recognition. However, Neal made the Pro Bowl four times (three with the Chargers) and was named first-team All-Pro twice (both with the Chargers) over his 16-year career.
Everybody will always remember the day Tomlinson set the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season. And Neal was a big reason why Tomlinson was able to accomplish that feat.