November 7, 2008

Rock-solid Neild the fulcrum of WVU 'D'

MORGANTOWN--It is inaccurate to say Chris Neild's contributions to the West Virginia University football team have gone unnoticed during his time in Morgantown. But suffice it to say that nose tackles don't always get the love they deserve. Given those circumstances, WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel's assessment of Neild's play this season may shock you.

"I think Chris Neild might be our best defensive player," Casteel recently told a small group of reporters gathered at the Milan Puskar Center.

Such a sentiment would qualify as considerable praise for any member of a unit ranked No. 10 nationally in scoring defense (14.8 points allowed per game). But for Neild, whose place in the middle of the Mountaineers' defensive line largely deprives him of glitzy stats or highlight reel plays, it is validation for the play of an entire unit.

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