Two weeks before Notre Dame's pro day in April, it was unclear whether or not Kerry Neal would be able to put on a strong enough show to garner interest by pro scouts. Then, to compound matters, he suffered a severe calf strain that rendered his chances of piquing interest even more far-fetched.
Clearly below full health, he recorded 40-yard dash times of 5.17 and 5.15—not exactly a bad time for defensive lineman, but hardly acceptable for linebackers.
So Neal, who played in all 50 games of his career while recording 112 tackles (11 for loss) and three fumble recoveries, was forced to earn respect from scouts the old-fashioned way: relentless work in the weight room and on the field in the offseason.
On Wednesday, the hard work paid itself off, as the 6'2", 245-pound linebacker signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
Overall it isn't a terrible signing, but it will be interesting to see how much the Colts can use his services. Perhaps he can work his way onto the field through special teams, as he started out his Notre Dame career, and work his way up the rotation at linebacker.
His career highlights are shown here, and it must be noted that there is no sound on the footage. True football fans will love it—casual fans, not so much.
Congratulations to Neal and his family!