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November 2, 2012

Connor Neighbors follows his own path to LSU

(Continued)

His grandfather, who died in April, and father supported his decision.

"They were like, 'It's your life. You go ahead and go for it,'" Connor Neighbors said. "They were in full support when I decided to come down here. Now, I have some cousins who were like 5 or 6 years old. They were a little confused at the time. They gave me some troubles."

A linebacker during his prep career, the stocky Neighbors (he's just 5-foot-11, but weighs 236 pounds) switched to fullback at LSU. He got into one game as a freshman before taking a medical redshirt, then played sparingly last season. Now, in the third year with the Tigers, he's getting more and more playing time behind starter J.C. Copeland.

Neighbors has gotten into all eight games and, though blocking in his main role, he actually ran the ball for the first time in his career for a 5-yard gain.

So, what is it like for Connor to face a school that is so deeply ingrained with his family?

"I have to say it's my favorite week," Neighbors replied. "Me and my brother, we've always had a little rivalry with each other. I don't want to say it's bragging rights, but sometimes it comes down to that. I always want to bring the win back to Alabama, back to my home state."

His brother's career ended because of an injury, and he's now a defensive analyst for Saban.

Wesley Neighbors was not available for comment. Saban does not allow his assistants to talk with the media.

Connor returned to Alabama with his head down after last season's national championship game. The Crimson Tide romped to a 21-0 victory, totally shutting down the LSU offense.

"A bunch of my friends talked a lot of smack to me," he said. "I just had to take it on the chin."

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