After missing all of the 2019 season recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the final game of 2018, defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal announced Friday that he will be returning to Purdue as a fifth-year senior.
Neal, an NFL prospect who was considered a possible first round pick, practiced at times throughout 2019, but ultimately couldn't make it back out onto the field, maintaining his injury-redshirt eligibility.
His return adds to an already impressive defensive line that includes ends George Karlaftis and Derrick Barnes. Those two had no problem rushing the quarterback, but the line had no answers in stopping the run. Part of that was due to their lack of size in the middle. Now with the 6-3 315 pound Neal returning, that area should see a big improvement from what they showed this year, ranking 12th in the Big Ten with 192 yards allowed per game.
In his career at Purdue, Neal has recorded 63 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.