Neal Named to Unitas Award Watch List

Graduate transfer signal caller in mix for Vanderbilt starting role

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt graduate transfer Riley Neal has been named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top senior or fourth-year junior quarterback set to graduate with their class.

Neal, a product of Yorktown, Indiana, is among 48 quarterbacks listed on the watch list. He joins five other quarterbacks from the SEC named as preseason candidates.

Neal, a multiple-year starter at Ball State before joining the Commodores last January, is in an ongoing competition for the starting spot with redshirt junior Deuce Wallace.

Neal comes to Vanderbilt following a decorated career at Ball State, where he threw for 7,393 yards and 46 touchdowns in 34 games. In 2018, Neal completed 57.9% of his passes, totaling 1,917 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. He threw just four interceptions in 335 attempts.

Limited to just three games due to injury in 2017, the two-time All-MAC academic honoree started for Ball State as a freshman in 2015, completing 58.3% of his passes for 2,276 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2016, he threw for a career-high 2,541 yards and 13 touchdowns.