Leslie O'Neal

Last updated

Leslie O'Neal
No. 91
Position: Defensive end / Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1964-05-07) May 7, 1964 (age 57)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:281 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High school: Little Rock (AR) Hall
College: Oklahoma State
NFL Draft: 1986  / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Sacks:132.5
Interceptions:3
Touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com

Leslie Claudis O'Neal (born May 7, 1964) is an American former professional football player who was a defensive end for 13 years in the National Football League (NFL). He spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers) before finishing with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. He was a three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection during his pro career.

Contents

O'Neal was a two-time All-American playing college football with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. He joined the Chargers after they selected him in the first round with the eighth overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, but suffered a major knee injury at the end of his first season. He returned within two years, and finished his career as the Chargers all-time leader in sacks.

College career

O'Neal played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and twice earned All-American honors. [1] He was a Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year, and earned All-Big Eight honors for three consecutive years. He finished his Cowboys career ranked fifth all-time in tackles with 351. [2]

On March 11, 2020, O’Neal was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as a player. He is Oklahoma State’s sixth member of the Hall of Fame. [3]

Professional career

O'Neal was chosen in the first round with the eighth overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1986 after recording 12+12 sacks for the season, including a team-record five on November 16 against the Dallas Cowboys. However, his season ended prematurely due to a knee injury that sidelined him for almost two seasons. [1]

He returned during the 1988 season on October 16, and returned to his dominant form the following season, when he again had 12+12 sacks, and was rewarded with the first of six Pro Bowl selections. [1] O'Neal led the Chargers in sacks every season from 1990 through 1995, [1] earning three second-team All-Pro selections in that span. [2] In 1992, he led the American Football Conference (AFC) with a career-high 17 sacks. [4] He played his final four seasons with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. [1]

He finished his Chargers career as the team's all-time leader in sacks (105+12). He was named to the Chargers 40th and 50th anniversary teams, and was inducted to the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame as well as the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. [1] [5] Through the 2013 season, he ranked 10th all-time in the NFL in sacks with (132+12), tied with Lawrence Taylor when excluding the 9.5 sacks the latter accumulated in his rookie season due to not being an official statistic that time. [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Williams, Eric D. (September 2, 2014). "DE O'Neal headed to Chargers Hall of Fame". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Leslie O'Neal". oksportshof.org. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014.
  3. @CowboyFB (March 11, 2020). "🎉Congratulations to Leslie O'Neal - #okstate's sixth member of the @cfbhall!🎉 📰 #GoPokes" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  4. "O'Neal and Chargers Agree to 3-Year Pact" . The New York Times. AP. August 21, 1993. p. 30. Retrieved October 2, 2019. Defensive end Leslie O'Neal, who led the American Football Conference with a career-high 17 sacks last year, signed a three-year contract with the San Diego Chargers yesterday.
  5. Carlson, Jenni (January 16, 2014). "Pro Football Hall of Fame needs to take a good look at former Oklahoma State star Leslie O'Neal". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014.