The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 2, 2012

Connor Neighbors follows his own path to LSU

— BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Connor Neighbors could've followed his grandfather, his father, his brother. That's what everyone expected. That would've been the comfortable thing to do.

Instead, Neighbors wanted to leave his own mark.

So, a family that is firmly associated with Alabama will have split loyalties when the top-ranked Crimson Tide meets No. 5 LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday night.

Neighbors plays fullback for the Tigers, which seems more than a little strange considering where he came from. His grandfather Billy was one of Alabama's greatest players, standing out on Bryant's first national championship team and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. His father Wes starred for the Tide in the 1980s. His older brother Wesley also played for Alabama and now works on coach Nick Saban's staff.

"I don't want to say I'm the black sheep," Connor Neighbors said with a grin. "I did choose a different path, that's for sure. But I'm glad I came down here. It's been a great experience. I've learned a lot. I've grown up as a man."

Neighbors grew up in Huntsville, Ala., but didn't receive any scholarship offers after high school. He could have gone to Alabama on a Bryant scholarship — a program set up by the late coach to benefit the children and grandchildren of his players — but would not have been able to play right away.

Then, he got a call from LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, who asked Neighbors to walk on in Baton Rouge.

"He said he could help me reach my goals," the player recalled. "I took that to heart. I came down here for a camp going into my senior year (of high school). I just wanted be different. That's why I came down here. It worked out for best for me."

Text Only
Sports
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee