Lorenzo Neal reflects on honor of getting jersey retired


FRESNO, CALIF. – This Saturday will be a special day at Bulldog Stadium.

At halftime of the Bulldogs big showdown with Nevada, former Fresno State running back Lorenzo Neal will have his No. 22 retired by the program.

Lorenzo was asked Wednesday, how he got the news?

“When I got the phone call from Terry (Fresno State Athletic Director Terry Tumey), it was like, ‘hey Lo, how you doing? I was like, great, how you doing?” said Neal. “Thought maybe, we’ll go to dinner, maybe grab a cigar, just talk about things we can do in the community, and just hang out. And he was like, ‘just want you to know, we’re gonna retire your jersey.’ And I was like, ‘really.’ And I was just like what do you say?”

Lorenzo’s No. 22 will be the eighth number retired by the program.

Neal is a native of Lemoore, who most notably, still sits in the top ten in program history in career rushing yards and career rushing touchdowns.

He left Fresno State after being named the Freedom Bowl MVP in 1992, and went on to play 16 seasons in the NFL, establishing himself as one of the best fullbacks in the history of the league.

“This honor I’m getting with the stadium, it’s not necessarily about me,” said Neal. “Because now I know the team won. I know that the community, my mom, my father, who is no longer here, wish he could be here, the people that are around me, the coaching staff here at Fresno State now, great head coach, and they welcomed me in as family, Pat Hill, all the guys, the Sweeneys, the Zinkin family, the Neal family. All these, my good friends around me, we all win Saturday.”

Current Bulldog head football coach Kalen Deboer said Lorenzo spoke to the current Fresno State team over the summer, and will speak to them again on Friday night, before their game against Nevada.

Lorenzo of course, did more than just play football at Fresno State.

He was also a conference champion as a heavyweight wrestler, who finished 7th at NCAA’s in 1992.

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