Fred McNeill

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Fred McNeill
No. 54
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1952-05-06)May 6, 1952
Place of birth: Durham, North Carolina
Date of death: November 3, 2015(2015-11-03) (aged 63)
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 1974 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Frederick Arnold McNeill (May 6, 1952 – November 3, 2015) was a linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for 12 seasons from 1974-1985. McNeill was selected out of UCLA by the Vikings in the first round of the 1974 NFL Draft with the 17th overall selection. In 1973, he was named to the All-Coast/Conference First Team.[1]

He played on defenses that led the NFC in fewest points allowed in 1976 and the NFL in fewest total yards allowed in 1975 and fewest passing yards allowed in 1976.

McNeill appeared in 2 Super Bowls with the Vikings, Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI. McNeill blocked a punt in Super Bowl XI.

During his last campaign with the Vikings, he began his studies at the William Mitchell College of Law, where he graduated at the top of his class. He eventually became a partner with a Minneapolis, Minnesota area law firm following his NFL career.[2]

McNeill was voted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.[3]

In his later years he was diagnosed with dementia, and was formally diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2009.[4] In March 2014 he received a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease). He died of ALS on November 3, 2015 at the age of 63.[5] Following his death Doctor Bennet Omalu conducted an autopsy on McNeil and confirmed the CTE diagnosis.[2]

Personal life[edit]

McNeill was married to Tia McNeill and they have two sons, Fred jr. and Gavin


  1. ^ 1975 UCLA Media Guide, UCLA Athletic News Bureau, 1975
  2. ^ a b Kounang, Nadia (2016-02-04), "CTE in the NFL: The tragedy of Fred McNeill", Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., retrieved 2016-02-04 
  3. ^ UCLA Athletics Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Class,, May 4, 2012
  4. ^ Laskas, Jeanne Marie. "The People V. Football," GQ (magazine), March 2011.
  5. ^

External links[edit]