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Here is why Chris Neild is a leader

Written by Colin Dunlap on .

How does that go?
You find out how tough someone is when they go through tough times ... something like that.
Anyway, that is close enough – you know what I am trying to say.
Everyone can agree the past few weeks have been tough for this West Virginia University football team, as they have fallen to Syracuse and Connecticut.
One senior, Chris Neild, needs applauded.
You can applaud Neild for going hard on every snap.
You can applaud Neild for running down ballcarriers, rushing quarterbacks or banging away at the interior offensive linemen in front of him.
I'm going to applaud Neild for facing the media music every single time he's been asked to talk.
Yes --- Every. Single. Time.
Immediately after the Syracuse loss, with blood dripping down his nose, Neild was there answering questions.
In the midweek availability between the Syracuse and UConn games, Neild was there, answering questions.
After the UConn game, when within an earshot I heard other seniors tell the WVU Sports Communications staff they didn't want to speak to media members, Neild quietly shook his head in agreement, sat in a chair and tackled every question head on with dignity and candor.
In fairness, there have been others who have spoken to media members through this rough patch (quarterback Geno Smith comes to mind), but there has been no one who has offered the depth, honesty and bluntness that Neild has, especially no other senior.
And to look at this deeper, this is Neild's last shot and he knows it, this two-game losing streak has to be as tough on him as anyone.
Before this season, coach Bill Stewart spoke of his senior leaders; he talked of how this team would be propelled through this schedule largely through their guidance.
In the times when things were going good, there were many seniors willing to talk, hamming it up for the cameras and yapping away with more quotes than we could find room for in our stories.
But, in the rough patches, Neild has been the constant, the one guy who has withstood the media torrent.
You know, Chris Neild has a pretty decent chance to get selected in the NFL Draft after this season for his skills as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. I'm certain, in that process, the scouts will speak to the WVU coaches about his on-field abilities as they ponder if they should use a draft pick on this young man.
If those same scouts ever need to ask about how he presents himself to the media, they can feel free to contact me. I'll vouch for the young man in that regard.

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