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  • Neiron Ball, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

    Neiron Ball was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

2015 NFL Draft:
Oakland selects Neiron Ball

Written by Nick de la Torre, May 2, 2015, 0 Comments,
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The Oakland Raiders selected Neiron Ball with the 161st overall selection in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Ball will be the only former Florida Gators player on Oakland’s roster and the first Florida Gator selected by Oakland since Louis Murphy in 2009.

Ball’s story is unbelievable. He lost both of his parents by the age of 10. Then, Ball’s football career — and life — almost ended in 2011 when doctor’s found an arteriovenous malformation — a blood vessel condition that caused bleeding in his brain. He had to undergo brain surgery and missed the 2011 season. Ball returned to the team in 2012 and recorded his first interception — against Georgia — while appearing I every game, starting two.

Ball played well in 2013 but saw his senior season cut short when he had to have microfracture surgery on his knee.

He wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine and would only have one opportunity to impress scouts at Florida’s pro day.

Ball has played outside linebacker his whole career at Florida and the Raider will look to use him in a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher role in their defense.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Florida-Gators-Florida-Football-Georgia-Bulldogs-Everbank-Field-Super-Gallery-November-1-2014-Jacksonville-Neiron-Ball-waits-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre FootballThe Latest ,,,,,
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The Oakland Raiders selected Neiron Ball with the 161st overall selection in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Ball will be the only former Florida Gators player on Oakland’s roster and the first Florida Gator selected by Oakland since Louis Murphy in 2009.

Ball’s story is unbelievable. He lost both of his parents by the age of 10. Then, Ball’s football career — and life — almost ended in 2011 when doctor’s found an arteriovenous malformation — a blood vessel condition that caused bleeding in his brain. He had to undergo brain surgery and missed the 2011 season. Ball returned to the team in 2012 and recorded his first interception — against Georgia — while appearing I every game, starting two.

Ball played well in 2013 but saw his senior season cut short when he had to have microfracture surgery on his knee.

He wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine and would only have one opportunity to impress scouts at Florida’s pro day.

Ball has played outside linebacker his whole career at Florida and the Raider will look to use him in a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher role in their defense.

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