Written By: Aaron Hepp / @aaronhepp80
Wide Receiver | Ball State Football
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Ball State Football has had dozens and dozens of great players in its history. Some of which are still competing at the NFL level, and some of which are making an impact in other industries. For Homecoming Week 2015, I decided to check in on what some of them are up to.
Blaine Bishop / @bbishop23 / Safety
Bishop has arguably had the most successful NFL career out of all Ball State football alumni. At Ball State, he was a Second Team All-MAC selection in 1990 and 1992 and was drafted in the 8th round. Bishop made a name for himself as a Tennessee Titan where he was a four-time Pro Bowler. He appeared in one Super Bowl, but lost to the St. Louis Rams. Bishop is currently a broadcaster and radio co-host at 104.5 The Zone 3HL in Nashville and for Titans Radio. Bishop was an honorary coach for the 2013 Ball State Spring Game.
Willie Snead / Willie_Snead4G / Wide Receiver
Snead ranks second in Ball State history with 2,991 receiving yards. Snead helped lead Ball State to back-to-back bowl games in 2012 and 2013. He earned three letters for Ball State before leaving for the NFL draft before his senior season. After going un-drafted, he eventually found a home with the New Orleans Saints. Through three games this season, Snead has amassed 10 catches for 151 yards and one TD. Snead came back to campus to finish his degree after he was drafted in the NFL.
Jason Whitlock / @WhitlockJason / Offensive Line
Whitlock was a two-year letter winner and an offensive linemen at Ball State. He’s currently a sportswriter and personality for ESPN. You will see him continually showing his support for Ball State sports on Twitter, and even displaying a Ball State basketball jersey behind him on the ESPN show “Pardon the Interruption.”
Mike Neu / Quarterback
Neu lettered at quarterback for the Cardinals from 1990-1993. In 1993, he was the MAC’s Most Valuable Player and offensive MVP. After college he played professionally in the Arena League and in the Canadian Football League. Neu is currently the quarterback’s coach for the New Orleans Saints where he coaches multiple Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees. Neu returned to Muncie in June for a golf outing which honored his 1993 MAC Championship Team.
Brad Saar / Linebacker
Saar was a linebacker who graduated in 1986. He started his football career at Penn State, before transferring to Ball State. At Ball State, he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 1985. Saar is currently the president of Stryker Medical which is one of the leading medical technology companies in the world. Back in April, Saar returned to Muncie for the football teams annual “Career Night.”
Jonathan Newsome / @JNEW_11 / Defensive End
Newsome started his football career at Ohio State, but soon transferred to the Cardinals in 2011. In 2013, Newsome earned First team All-MAC honors. He started 21 games in his career and was a two-year letter winner. After college, Newsome was drafted in the 5th round by the Indianapolis Colts, and has been there ever since. Newsome led the Colts in sacks as a rookie with 6.5 while also forcing three fumbles. Newsome returned to Muncie last April to be a guest award presenter at Sports Link’s production of “The Chirpies”.
Nate Davis / Quarterback
Davis was one of the most prolific passers in Ball State history. He is second all time in passing yards with 9,233 and second in touchdowns with 74 all time. He helped lead the Cardinals to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the GMAC Bowl in 2008. Davis was selected in the 5th round in 2009 by the San Francisco 49ers. In 2010, Davis was cut by the 49ers and he bounced to the Seahawks and then eventually to the Colts. Davis has played for several different arena and indoor football teams in the past decade. He led the Amarillo Venom to two Lone Star Football League championships in 2012 and 2013, and is currently competing for the Venom. Davis is best remembered for his performance in 2008 and that he was one of the first quarterbacks to wear gloves while he played.
Brady Hoke / Linebacker and Coach
As a player, Hoke participated as a linebacker. He recorded 99 tackles as a sophomore, 95 as a junior and 150 as a senior. He was a team captain and earned All-MAC Second Team honors. Hoke had several different jobs as an assistant coach in college football, but eventually left his assistant coaching job at Michigan to come home to Muncie. At Ball State, Hoke led the Cardinals to an undefeated regular season and to the GMAC Bowl in 2008. Hoke left before the GMAC bowl to coach San Diego State, and would later leave for the Michigan head coaching job. Hoke has since been fired from Michigan and is enjoying being able to travel and spend more quality time with his wife.
David Haugh / @DavidHaugh / Safety
Haugh was a member of the 1989 MAC Championship team where he played safety and helped lead the Cardinals to the California Raisin Bowl. Haugh is a sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and serves as the beat writer for the Chicago Bears. In an essay he wrote about the 1989 Ball State season, Haugh mentions he still has the watch given to him during the California Raisin Bowl.
Keith Wenning / @Wenning10 / Quarterback
Wenning is still a name that is brought up very often in Ball State football discussion. Wenning holds virtually every passing record in the book, including yards (11,402), touchdowns (92) and completions (1035). Wenning was selected in the 6th round by the Baltimore Ravens and is now on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. Wenning regularly returns to Muncie in the offseason to workout on the very field he broke countless records on.