Auburn's T.J. Neal ready for 'big-time, prime-time football'
Career: Has made 25 career starts and played in 50 games ... has 274 career tackles ... ranks 37th nationally among active players in career tackles
2016: Played in 11 games ... two solo tackles vs. LSU … four tackles vs. ULM … recorded two tackles at Mississippi State and at Ole Miss … recorded nine tackles, 1.5 TFL against Vanderbilt … Preseason: Senior Bowl watch listAt Illinois/2015: Started all 12 games at middle linebacker for Illinois … recorded 109 tackles, 14 TFLs, two sacks, one PBU and two QB hurries on season … ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 32nd in FBS in tackles per game (9.1) … career-high 17 tackles in the season finale vs. Northwestern … academic All-Big Ten (2013, 2014, 2015)
2014: Started all 13 games, totaling 98 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, four PBUs, three QB hurries, one interception and one forced fumble on the season … recorded a career-high 12 tackles and forced the fumble that was returned for the game-winning TD against Minnesota … registered his first career interception at Nebraska
2013: Played in all 12 games … posted 38 tackles, one TFL and one QB hurry … recorded seven tackles against Ohio State … saw his first action at Illinois in the season-opener against SIU, recording three tackles, including two solos and his first career TFL
High School: Pennsylvania Sports Writer Class 4A All-State team in 2011 … also named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Fabulous 22 team, the East Regional Fabulous 22 team and the All-Foothills Conference team at linebacker in 2011 … played fullback as well, rushing for 190 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries in 2011 … three start recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com
Personal: Son of Mia Piri and Tyrone Neal … has three sisters, Tyasiah, Tyla and Tyaira ... birthday is December 18 … daughter's name is Ty ... enjoys watching and reviewing movies ... received his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Illinois in May, 2016 … working toward a master's degree in the College of Education