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  2022 NORTHEAST CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: DL Eric O'Neill, LIU,...O'Neill wasted little time in making his name known in the NEC loop as a disruptive force. He was a nightmare for opposing team's offenses, especially down the final stretch of the season. Averaging 5.6 tackles per game in league play, the 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman ended the campaign on an absolute tear with 33 of his 51 stops coming in last four games of the year. It's no coincidence that LIU went 4-0 in that stretch for a program-best third-place finish in the NEC standings. Recently named the Stat Perform FedEx Ground FCS National Freshman Player of the Week, O'Neill twice earned the NEC Defensive Player of the Week award.

His first honor came after he stuck 5.0 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks in the Sharks' first win of the season, a double-overtime takedown of Duquesne in late October. Stymying Sacred Heart's final drive and comeback bid with consecutive sacks in a 37-34 road win, the Staten Island native doubled his weekly award total this past Monday. The rookie made a career-best 14 hits, including 3.5 sacks and an NEC single-game season-high 5.5 tackles-for-loss. Overall, O'Neill's 21.0 tackles-for-loss and 10.0 sacks rank him second in the NEC. - NEC Football

rFr/2026 DE Eric ONeillLong Island University
News Source: NEC Football

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