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<< Sports >>

NCAA / NFL Football News

Saturday, 27 April, 2013 4:31 PM

NFL DRAFT: Eric Fisher Speaks about Being Number One

Photo courtesy of Lars Hjelmroth, Rolco Sports Network

Central Michigan's Eric Fisher at the 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.

 

by Raymond Rolak
AmericaJR.com Web Team

 

 

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NEW YORK -- As the 2013 NFL Draft quickly approaches, Central Michigan offensive tackle and potential No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher had a chance to reflect on his rise to the top of most teams wish list. At the media opportunity pre-draft, many NFL player personnel directors coveted the 6-foot-7, 308-pounder. He is at the top of most draft boards.

Despite questions about his level of competition at Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference, Fisher believes that he has displayed his athleticism and ability to play at a high level. This is exactly what has him at the top of many mock drafts conducted by scouts. “He is at the top of most lists,” said veteran NFL scout, Joe Collins.

“I have kind of expected everything throughout the process,” Fisher said. “This has been a dream of mine for a long time so I’ve tried not to let it be a surreal experience. I want it to be a reality because I think if it stays surreal too long you forget about the things you have to do to be successful.”

“I was an under-the-radar guy and that is to be expected coming from a smaller school,” Fisher said. “Going through the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine I was able to show everyone where Central Michigan is and what kind of players we can produce. A lot of people have questions about the competition I faced, but I think my biggest games last year were against Iowa and Michigan State and I was able to play my best football. I definitely had a great game in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Western Kentucky during Christmas. Ford Field wetted my appetite for the NFL. ”

Fisher, a lightly recruited, lanky 6-8, 250 lb. prospect from Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, came to Central originally as a tight end. When he left four years later, he was considered to be one of the elite college football players in the nation at any position. His highest compliment was that he was a hard worker and was very coachable.

Fisher is among a trio of offensive lineman – including Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel and Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson – that are projected to go within the top 10 NFL picks. Fisher spoke about how that competition was something that has pushed each of them to work harder throughout the process. “We have a lot of great competition in this draft,” Fisher said. “It was a quarterback class last year, but this year is more offensive line dominated (Offensive lineman). We don’t always get the most exposure but it’s been a fun experience so far. When you have someone pushing you to be your best it really helps. It has been a constant battle and we’ll see who comes out on top.”

Even with the rise to instant stardom, Fisher has no plans of letting the spotlight change his core values and strong work ethic that made him a two-time All-MAC selection and All-American following his senior season. He also has continued to express that the National Football League is a dream come true and that no matter which team takes him Thursday night, he will be prepared to bring that work ethic to their organization.

There are 32 teams and they all have a lot to offer.” If Fisher becomes the highest pick in the MAC history, or even the No. 1 overall pick, it will be something that will make the entire experience even sweeter. “I’m always going to be the same person,” Fisher said. “I don’t plan on changing for anything. My dream has been to play in the NFL and the NFL strictly.

The highest a MAC player had previously been selected in the NFL Draft was No. 7; a distinction that belonged to Marshall QB Byron Leftwich when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2003. Among current members of the MAC, Bowling Green back Bernie Casey went the highest, at No. 9, to the San Francisco 49ers in 1961. Miami (Ohio) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (2004, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Toledo defensive tackle Dan Williams (1993, Denver Broncos) were both selected at No. 11.

“It would be a huge honor (to be drafted No. 1 overall),” Fisher said. “I almost don’t have words for it. I don’t think I would be able to describe that feeling until after it happened. It has been my dream and my goal going through this process to be drafted as high as possible and you can’t go higher than number one.”

“I couldn’t be more excited for Eric,” said CMU head coach Dan Enos. “It’s extremely gratifying to see how his toughness, determination and focus have made him the player he is today and we are glad to be a part of that process. We are proud to have had him in our Chippewa Football program and look forward to his continued success.”

Fisher is the second CMU player to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He follows in the footsteps of All-Pro offensive lineman Joe Staley. Fisher has been compared with him often. Staley set the standard in 2007 when he was chosen in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers at No. 28. In all, 34 Chippewa’s have been drafted by NFL teams, dating back to 1946 when the Detroit Lions selected running back Ben Wall in the 18th round.

Last week on the CMU campus with so much talk about the draft, the football team continued the tradition of giving back some energy to the community. The athletes recognize that the local population provides them with so much support. Team members took part in numerous service activities throughout the Mount Pleasant area. Each of the service activities that the football team was involved in was organized through C.A.R.E. (Central Athletes Reaching Everyone), a program that coordinates community appearances for each of CMU’s team sports.

Related Story: CMU beats WKU 24-21 in Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field

 

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