American Football Database
Ryan McNeil
No. 47     
Cornerback / Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1970-10-04) October 4, 1970 (age 51)
Place of birth: Fort Pierce, Florida
Career information
College: Miami
NFL Draft: 1993 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Detroit Lions ( 1993 1996)
Career highlights and awards
* 2× National champion (1989, 1991)
Games played     161
Games started     136
Tackles     696
Interceptions     31
Fumbles recovered     14
Stats at
Stats at

Ryan Darrell McNeil (born October 4, 1970) is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive back in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He played college football for the University of Miami, and earned All-American honors. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1993 NFL Draft, and also played professionally for the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos of the NFL.

Early years

McNeil was born in Fort Pierce, Florida.[1] He attended Westwood High School,.[2] where he was a two-time offensive player of the year. As a senior free safety he registered 61 tackles (47 solo), six interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries. As a wide receiver he had 23 receptions for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns. In track, he won the district title in the long jump, triple jump and 440-yard dash.

College career

McNeil accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Miami. As a freshman, he was named the starter at cornerback after Kenny Berry was injured, finishing with 15 tackles (9 solo). The next year although he was platooned at the "field" cornerback position with Roland Smith and registered 34 tackles (19 solo), 6 passes defensed and one interception.

As a junior, he recorded 38 tackles (21 solo), 5 interceptions, 17 passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In his last year he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American at cornerback, after finishing with 34 tackles (23 solo), 10 passes defensed and 2 interceptions. He was a member of the Hurricanes' national championship teams in 1989 and 1991.

Professional career

The Detroit Lions traded up to select McNeil in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft.[3] He became the starter at left cornerback in his second season.[4] In 1995, he recorded 86 tackles and 2 interceptions.[5] The next year, he had 5 interceptions.

In 1997, he was declared a free agent and chose to sign the St. Louis Rams, after an offer from the Lions was pulled after the firing of head coach Wayne Fontes.[6] At the end of the year, he led the NFL in interceptions with nine and also had 71 tackles.[4] The next year his statistics dropped to one interception and 54 tackles.

With the Cleveland Browns in 1999, he registered 81 tackles and recovered four fumbles.[7]

On March 2, 2000, he signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys reuniting with his former University of Miami secondary coach Dave Campo. He replaced Deion Sanders at right cornerback, who was waived in a salary cap move.[8] Although the team wanted to keep him, the salary cap situation forced them to waive McNeil on February 28, 2001.

On March 3, 2001, he was signed by the San Diego Chargers.[9] In September, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month. At the end of the season, he finished with 8 interceptions and was named to the Pro Bowl to replace an injured Sam Madison. In 2003, he was moved to free safety during training camp and was eventually released on August 12.[10]

On November 11, 2003, he signed with the Denver Broncos to play as a nickel corner, but injuries limited him to 4 games.

Personal life

After McNeil retired from professional football, he founded the Professional Business & Financial Network, an organization designed to provide professional athletes with the fundamental tools they need to succeed in business. He is also the publisher of OT Magazine, a lifestyle magazine dedicated to helping professional athletes manage their money. His numerous business interests are managed by David Cornwell and Don West, Jr.[11][12] His father played tight end in the Canadian Football League with the Ottawa Roughriders.


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