Foxborough, Mass., native is 12th Stonehill student-athlete featured in publication
EASTON, Mass. (September 22, 2011) – Stonehill College senior All-American Stephan Neville (Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough) is featured in the "Faces in the Crowd" section of the September 26 issue of Sports Illustrated set to hit newsstands this weekend.
Neville, who appears in the national magazine's issue that features actor Brad Pitt who stars in the new movie release of "Moneyball" on the cover, is recognized for setting an NCAA Division II record with his ninth career kickoff return for a touchdown against Pace University on September 10, earning the Northeast-10 Conference special teams player of the week for his efforts. He returned the ball 88 yards for a score in the 23-20 overtime setback and currently ranks third in the NE-10 and 19th nationally in Division II by averaging 31.0 yards on nine kickoff returns this season. He is currently just one kickoff return score shy of equaling the NCAA all-divisions record.
Neville is the 12th Stonehill student-athlete to be recognized by Sports Illustrated in its "Faces in the Crowd" section and the first from the football program. He joins women's lacrosse All-Americans Katie Lambert (6/16/2003), now the head coach at Stonehill, Lauren Stone (5/10/2005) and Erin Acone (6/12/2006), field hockey standouts Caitlin Gleason (10/2/2006) and Aly Boulis (10/22/2007), Rob Pascale (12/29/2003), Brendan O'Brien (2/20/2006) and Tyler Jackson (1/11/2010) from the ice hockey team, women's basketball honorable mention All-American Kelsey Simonds (1/23/2006) and brothers Kevin and Keith Gill (4/7/2008) All-Americans for men's indoor track and field.
Neville broke the previous Division II career record set by Winona State University's Dave Ludy from 1991-94. He is just one kickoff return touchdown shy of the NCAA all-divisions record of ten set by Wesley College's Larry Beavers from 2004-08. Neville has returned nine kickoffs this season for 279 yards and the one touchdown. He has also returned six punts for 55 yards, ranking fifth in the NE-10 (47th nationally) with his 9.17 yards per punt return. Neville is also a starting cornerback for the Skyhawks and has posted ten tackles (seven solo), including a tackle for a loss of a yard, and three pass breakups (3rd NE-10).
Neville, a preseason All-American by several preseason outlets, became the first All-American in program history last fall when he was named to the American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) Division II Coaches' All-America Team. He also earned All-New England and All-Northeast-10 honors as a kick returner after matching an NCAA Division II record with four kickoff returns for touchdowns. Neville led the NE-10 for the second-straight year by averaging 30.9 yards per kickoff return (3rd nationally). Neville returned 25 kickoffs for 773 yards, including a career-long matching 94 yard return for a score against NE-10 champions University of New Haven. Neville finished second on the team with 848 all-purpose yards, adding six punt returns for 38 yards and 37 interception return yards.
Neville, a two-time All-Conference selection at cornerback with his second team award last fall, added a fumble recovery that he returned 35 yards for a touchdown against Southern Connecticut State in 2010, to finish the year with five total returns for scores – just one shy of the NCAA Division II record for total touchdown returns.
Neville is the lone player in program history to earn All-Northeast-10 honors at two positions, doing so in each of the last two seasons. He is a three-time All-NE-10 pick as return specialist after collecting first team honors for the second-straight year this fall, while earning first team All-Conference honors at cornerback his sophomore season.
Neville, an NE-10 All-Rookie team selection as a freshman, has played 33 games over his career and returned 73 kicks for 2,388 yards (32.71/return), with the nine returns for touchdowns. He ranks seventh in program history with 2,474 career all-purpose yards and has two career 94-yards touchdown returns, the first coming on the opening kickoff of a 23-21 win over then No. 24-ranked Bentley University in the final game of the 2009 season, with the latter coming against New Haven in 2010. Neville led all of Division II when he averaged 36.7 yards per return his sophomore season.
Neville has totaled 144 tackles (98 solo) over his career on defense for Stonehill, posting 3.5 career tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions with another 23 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Stonehill (1-2, 0-1 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it hosts American International College (2-1, 1-0 NE-10) as part of Alumni Weekend festivities at the College at W.B. Mason Stadium at 1 p.m.