Former WVU Standouts Tandy, Neild Train with Mountaineers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Former WVU Standouts Tandy, Neild Train with Mountaineers

Keith Tandy is back in Morgantown preparing for his season with Tampa Bay. Keith Tandy is back in Morgantown preparing for his season with Tampa Bay.
West Virginia’s weight room isn’t just home to the current Mountaineers roster during these summer months. Some familiar faces have returned to their alma mater in an effort to prepare for their own upcoming seasons in the National Football League.

Keith Tandy and Chris Neild are both back in Morgantown, visiting campus, working out and keeping an eye on the program they left behind before heading off to Tampa and Washington, respectively.

Certainly part of the draw is the comfort level these two have with the area and the people around town, but it is also the fact that they believe sessions with WVU strength coach Mike Joseph are of a greater benefit than if they were to work out elsewhere.

“I’ve worked out a lot of different places and I haven’t found any place better than what Mike Joseph is doing here,” Tandy said. “I always felt the best when I was in college and when I was coming out of college, so I figured I would come back and get some of that before I start up this season.”

Tandy is facing his third season with the Buccaneers while Neild is entering year four with the Redskins and both are learning to play under new head coaches.

They are each just part of a growing contingent of former West Virginia players who are making names for themselves at the highest level of the sport with that success comes an opportunity. Tandy, Neild and the rest of the recent graduates who are currently playing under the NFL shield can return to Morgantown and share a bit of what they learned while competing on the same field as their successors.

“My first couple of years here, there weren’t as many guys as there are now in the NFL, CFL, whatever it may be in pro football,” Neild said. “We definitely take it as a responsibility to look at these kids and say it’s not an easy road to get to where we are. I could vouch for all of the guys who are in the league now, they all worked hard to get to where they needed to be and it started here.”

In Tandy’s opinion, there is no comparing his professional workouts with what he experiences under Coach Joseph’s watch. The strength coach is happy to share his room with some of his old pupils and he welcomes the idea that some of their work ethic and results will rub off on the guys getting ready to suit up for WVU this fall.

“Hopefully it will carry over to our younger guys and guys who think they’ll be at the next level, they can see how they stand against them,” Joseph said. “If they cannot maintain the same level of discipline and intensity, they might notice they have to put a little more work in.”

As much as they want to lead by example, Tandy and Neild go out of their way to sit down with some of the more veteran players on the roster and get a gauge on where the Mountaineers stand as a team. They still carry with them a sense of pride in what they accomplished in West Virginia and a desire to ensure that there is no repeat of last season’s results.

Their hope is that by interacting with the other players in the weight room and sharing their own experiences, it can help put this year’s student-athletes on a similar path.

“Me and Neild, we weren’t highly recruited guys. We both came in undersized,” Tandy said. “One thing we both did is we worked. We just kept working and finally it clicked for us and we’re blessed to be in the position we’re in now.”

Joseph’s offseason plan was part of that path for Tandy and Neild, both of whom would like to see these younger Mountaineers follow in their footsteps.

“They look up to us, so it’s a matter of showing what we can do and how hard we worked and what it took to get to where we are today,” Neild added. “We’re here to make ourselves better, but we want to make them better as well. 

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