CMU Pro Day was a swarm of players, NFL scouts, media, and onlookers Monday morning. Many of them wanted to get a look at projected top 10 pick Eric Fisher, but others who were getting looks included safety Jahleel Addae along with wide receiver Cody Wilson and quarterback Ryan Radcliff.
Here is what they had to say:
On his overall thoughts for the day:
"It went good. I was happy with my NFL Combine results, so I stuck with O-line drills today. I thought they went very well. Just a quick 15 or 20-minute workout and did a little more work here (meetings) with some teams. It was a good day."
On what he felt he needed to prove:
"I just think I needed to be consistent in my performance in the last two or three months. That's a big thing I try to do is just be consistent in everything I do."
On having former CMU standouts Joe Staley and Frank Zombo in attendance for support:
"Joe is probably the biggest one just because he played my position. Him and Zombo being here was cool. I didn't know (Zombo) was coming, but I knew Joe was coming and it's always nice to have people in the building who have been there and done that. Joe just played in the Super Bowl and Frank has a Super Bowl ring. Hopefully I'll be following in those footsteps."
On the process of getting to this point:
"It's been pretty hectic, but it's been a great process though. Very busy. My schedule constantly gets busier and busier. Been all over the country country, but this is my dream and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting drafted here in April."
On if he is surprised how fast he has risen on draft boards:
"Yeah, I guess I've been known to be an under the radar player these last four years. Coming out of a MAC school and not having the national exposure the SEC, the ACC, and PAC-12 all have I've been under the radar for quite some time. And to be honest, I like being under the radar. Just quietly rising up and it's been my mission to get as high as possible. So we'll see what happens in April."
On if he thought he had a legitimate shot at being a top-five pick before his senior season:
"Honestly, it's gone a lot farther than I ever dreamed of. Deep down it was always my goal to get as high as possible and I've worked really hard to get here."
On where he think he will go:
"In the end it's not up to me where I go. Obviously until April 25th I'm going to be working to go No. 1. I think that would great for our program. It would be great for me and my family
obviously, but it's great to represent my school and the Chippewas in this way."
On the next step in the process:
"One-on-one workouts and team visits are happening now, so I'll be going around the country with some teams. I'm not sure exactly where I am going next, my agent just kind of calls me and tells me where to go."
On whether he pays attention to mock drafts:
"No I don't. Coaches and general managers have the real draft so I don't need to pay attention to anyone else."
On if his process has changed him at all:
"No, definitely not. Why would I change who I am because of something I'm going through? I'm always going to be the person I was and remember where I came from. I went to high school with this guy (points at CM Life reporter Ryan Zuke). But yeah, I just have to be
me. When you start changing, that is when things catch up to you."
On his feelings on possibly being drafted by the Detroit Lions:
"Anyone who wants to give me an opportunity, I'm in. I'm going to go to that organization and do my best. It would be cool staying home, but also with staying home there comes a lot of stress because there are so many more people who know who you are and whatnot. Wherever I go, I'm going to enjoy playing football."
On if he is going to New York for the draft:
"I don't know yet. I haven't been invited at this point."
On the most difficult part of this process:
"I pretty much knew what to expect with the process. That's why you go training and prepare yourself. I've been preparing for four years now in college. I always knew what was coming. It's here now. It's all pretty surreal, but it's starting to set in that this is all happening."
On how he would make his case if asked why he should be the first tackle taken:
"I'm just a very competitive person. I work to be number one in everything I do. I'm a very hard worker and I'm good in everything I do. After that, it's up to them."
On if had any conversations with Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel at the NFL Combine:
"No, I didn't really say anything to him."
On pro offensive tackles that he models his game after:
"Yeah, obviously Joe (Staley). He was a first rounder and played in the Super Bowl. I love watching film of him and seeing what he does to defeat all his defenders. I look up to the guy. He's been there, done that. So I get in touch with him any time I need something and it's good having him there."
On what Staley has said to him recently:
"Nothing motivational. He just said keep doing what you've been doing. You've prepared the last four years for all this, not just the last two months. That would be impossible. But he just tells me what to expect and to just relax and be yourself."
On having the NFL world focused on him:
"It's been a cool experience. Not many people get to go through this. I'm grateful and blessed I have this opportunity. I'm thankful that a lot of people were here to watch my teammates who were here to perform today and that they were able to get that much more spotlight.
That's obviously good for them. I don't know what all the results are, but I hope they did very well and I wish them the best."
On what the most fun aspect of the past couple months has been:
"Meeting a lot of these people that you see on TV and stuff. These famous players with Super Bowl rings. That's pretty cool. The whole process is unbelievable. A great experience and I'm really enjoying it."
On the possibility of another Chippewa being drafted:
"I think that would be awesome. Hopefully we can get Central Michigan on the level where we can get someone drafted every year. I wish the best to all the guys out there. I definitely wish the best for myself also, but it's a building process. The MAC's stepping out and you can see as a conference we beat a lot of Big Ten teams this year. We're just trying to make a name for ourselves."
On doing offensive line drills with Darren Keyton and Mike Repovz:
"Working with Darren and Mike was awesome because I've been working with those guys for a long time now. We've started a ton of games together. There were definitely some familiar people around me."
On his thoughts of his workout:
"I thought my testing was OK. I was really focusing on the throwing and all in all I think that went well. I don't know what the scouts thought about it, but I did what I wanted to do out here. I only had one or two incompletions. So it was a good day as far as everything was considered."
On how Eric Fisher's presence benefited everyone else:
"Just him doing as well as he is and improving his draft stock, we get a lot more people coming out here that want to watch him. That only helps all the other guys
on the team to get us a look too."
On helping his wide receivers and defensive backs by throwing to them today:
"Just having all these teams here and being familiar with the receivers out there. Guys that I know. We had Skylar Stoker (Ferris State) here as a new guy, but even with him we fit in pretty well. Rocky (Weaver), I played with him in the past. Just having receivers you are familiar with in their body motions and movements, it really helps."
On whether teams have talked to him:
"Not really yet. I'm hoping after this, it will get the ball rolling. I think not having an agent hinders that a little bit, but at the same time they know I am here and can get a hold of me if they want to."
On if he would be willing to play in the Canadian Football League:
"I'm not sure. I think it would probably end up being NFL or nothing. I love me some football, but I have other things that I like to do and other opportunities where if football doesn't work out it's kind of a win-win honestly. I'm pretty blessed."
On his workout regimen:
"Probably three or four days usually. Lifting, running, throwing about that much. Kind of an every other day basis right now. I'm not out here killing myself to the point where I'm beating my body down. I'm staying in shape and gaining a little bit in terms of strength. Just staying on top of my throwing. When you come out here throwing every day, you're going to start getting a little dead arm and I don't want that."
On his overall thoughts:
"I had a good showing today. I'm pleased with how I did."
On how many teams have talked to him this winter:
"Since the East/West Shrine Game, I'd say about 13 or 14 teams have talked to me. Today I spoke to about five teams."
On finally having CMU Pro Day in the rear view mirror:
"It's like a big sigh of relief. I've been waiting a long time for this moment and I finally got to work and showed what I can do. Now it's just a waiting game."
On what it says for the CMU program to have 26 NFL teams in attendance:
"It says that we're not small-time football. There are big-time players that come out of here. Coach Enos does a great job of recruiting and it's great that our senior class had so many NFL scouts come out to watch us today."
On if he helped his draft status these past couple months:
"I feel like I did. I had a good showcase today. I ran well. I jumped well. It was good."
On his everyday routine:
"Get up, eat, work out, sleep. Treatment, trainers, workout, sleep. I mean, it's 24/7 football. All the time every day. I just wanted to go out there today and do a good job. I'm really happy with how I did."
On how Fisher's presence helped him and other CMU players:
'Big Fish' brought a big crowd out and he deserves everything he's getting. That's really helped us showcase our talent. All in all, it's a plus for everybody."
On pro safeties he compares his game to:
"I've heard I resemble Louis Delmas in this way he plays and comes downhill with reckless abandon along with the passion that he plays the game. I'll take it. He was a second rounder and is a successful safety in the league. Delmas and Polomalu. Guys that get in the box and can hit. Both play the game with intensity and passion. They go for it."
On how he would pitch himself to an NFL team:
"I'm a dedicated leader and ready to work. Special teams, anything it takes to help the team win I'll do. I'm passionate and play the game with energy. I'm a football player."
On whether he was nervous at any point:
"Not really. When I first came in here I was kind of nervous, but other than that it felt like game day. I was ready."
On his overall thoughts:
"I thought it went really well. I caught the ball well and ran good routes. Overall, I thought it went well."
On what he has been doing to prepare himself:
"I've been training down in Georgia. Start at 9, meetings from 9-10, route work and position at 10, speed work 11, lifting 11:30-2. That was every day for about two months."
On benefits of Fisher bringing in more scouts:
"I think it benefits all the guys running a lot. It's been something I've talked about with my agent. It's a blessing having a guy like Eric Fisher come out. He didn't do a ton today, but a lot of scouts came out so there are more eyes to see you. For Central, I think that was a good thing for the whole program and all the guys involved today."
On scouts requesting Radcliff throw to him instead of Jon Kitna:
"Ryan threw great. It was kind of spur of the moment because we haven't been working together. He threw the ball great and everything went well. If anything, I just feel bad for Jon because he flew out here from Seattle. But he spoke at my dad's church, so he did something. It was really nice of him to come out and kind of a bummer that it happened this way. But everything worked out pretty well."
On relationship with Kitna:
"Once he came to Detroit, my dad's a chaplain over there. He's a guy that is really into his faith, so him and my dad developed a really close friendship. They are like best friends. So he threw a lot to me in high school which was really nice of him, so we've had a relationship. So after this all happened, he kind of reached out to my family and suggested he could come throw to me. That's kind of how it all went down."
On whether it helped having Kitna's support there:
"I think so. Yesterday we went through some stuff. With the Pro Day stuff, he was talking football with me and what would be expected of me at the next level. He was in the NFL for 16 years. The amount of wisdom he has is unlimited, so it's really good in that aspect. He's a great guy. Anything I had a question with he could answer. He's been around an knows how the NFL works. He's a great guy to go to for advice on and off the field."
On doing 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press:
"The most I've done before is 19. I'm kind of a meathead for a receiver. I don't if that hurts my 40 time, but I like lifting. I'm pretty happy with that number. I was trying to get 20 or north of 20. So that was right in the range I was expecting and I was pretty happy with it."
On the adrenaline rush of the day:
"I was kind of going crazy with the adrenaline on the lifting and after that was over, I was kind of hoping my energy would come back. The adrenaline definitely kicked in running those routes, but that is football and you have to deal with it."
On his 40 time:
"I think it was in the 4.6 range, I think that is what some guys were saying. I was hoping for a 4.5 or maybe a 4.4 on a great day, but I'm happy with a 4.6.
I think I'm more quick than linear."
On pro receivers he models his game after:
"One guy when I was 16 because of my dad's relationship with the Lions is Mike Furrey. When he was with the Lions, I got to run routes with him. Running routes with him a couple times in high school, I probably learned more from him in high school than I have my entire career. He's a guy I probably play similar to. All those slot guys. Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, those are guys that my game is comparable to. So it's fun to watch those guys and see how they operate."
On how he would pitch himself to an NFL team:
"I think I had a really good college career. Production-wise, I think I did well. I wouldn't change anything from my time at Central. From leadership and off-the-field stuff to what I did on the field, I don't think a lot of guys did that. I do things right and I'm a high-character guy. You want me in your locker room. I'm going to be a good leader and I'm going to do what I'm supposed to do, which is make plays. I don't think a lot of guys can say all around that they do that kind of stuff."
On how Fisher's presence helps everything:
"I think when you look at us and you want to be an All-American, you can go to Central Michigan and be an All-American. You can be a first round draft pick. Fisher will probably be the second one we've had here. If you want to come here and be a first round draft pick, you can do that. He gives validity to everything we talk about. If you want to go to the NFL and be a first round draft choice, you don't have to go to a big-time program or an SEC school to do that. You can come to our school and do that. It's not just telling you that, we have people that have proved it. The big thing with Fisher is that he is obviously talented and has a lot of God-given ability, but our offensive line coach (Mike) Cummings did an outstanding job of developing him. One of the big things pro scouts talk to me about his how well-coached he is and our system that we run, how well that translates to the NFL. Those are all things we talk to young people about coming here."
On if he surprised by Fisher's rise up draft boards:
"We saw glimpses of it a few years ago. We saw a big, lean guy that could run. Our thing was that we said if he could ever get to 300 pounds and maintain it, he could become very good and go as high as he could possibly go. That's been one thing he's been great at this year. This is the first year where as he got to 300, 302, and 304 he's maintained it pretty much the entire season. I've told this to pro people, I think his best days are yet to come. He didn't redshirt. He played tight end in high school. So he hasn't played tackle for all that long. I think that whoever gets him will not only get a great player but someone who will continue to get better and better as the years go on."
On having high-character guys like Fisher, Addae, Wilson, and Radcliff at CMU Pro Day:
"It's great for our young guys that were here watching on the side. But what a great group of seniors. Their good people, their good young men. Some of them have already received their degrees. Their just good people. There were a lot of them to watch today. I know they're all anxious about the process, but it's fun for us to be able to watch them at this stage."
On why Addae's game might translate to the next level:
"I think he could fit in a lot of different areas. I think he's a good tackler. That helps him. I think he's very explosive and very smart. He loves to play the game. He'll be a guy that is early to meetings and stay late to work on his trade. He can play in a lot of different special teams areas and helpful there. I think he can play safety as well as at nickel back. Again, his athletic ability and mental toughness I think will translate well to that league. Same goes with Cody Wilson. They're just looking for that team that will give them a chance."
On who might have stood out:
"That is hard for me to say, but there was a buzz about Jahleel's workout. I think he did a 38-inch vertical and broad jumped at 10-foot-4. People can see he's explosive on video, but to see him do it live is another thing. I thought Cody Wilson performed extremely well especially in position drills. Just like everything, everyone has their own opinions. But I'm sure a lot of the guys did well. Eric Fisher.... he's pretty good. He kind of showed that again today. But those two other (offensive linemen) Mike Repovz and Darren Keyton, I think those guys are underrated. Fisher gets a lot of the attention, but those two guys if they get in a camp have a legitimate chance because of the system we run. They pick up things very quickly. They played a lot of football here and in that league, they're always looking for guys to come to camp and I think those two guys could have a good chance to stick around."
On what Cody Wilson brings to the table:
"He is a guy who is really quick in and out of his breaks. His short shuttle time was probably outstanding. He is going to catch the ball in traffic, he is going to create separation. He is going to catch it. He is another guy who I really think could help an NFL team as far as being a punt returner or a guy running down the field making tackles on special teams. He just fits in a lot of different areas and is a high-character guy who is going to work hard. Someone asked me today if he can make a team. And I'll tell you this, the guy who is called in to cut him it's going to be tough to do. You are looking at a guy you are going to want on your football team. After looking at all our season cut-ups in the last month and a half, we're going to miss him. Watching the video, you saw a guy who was going to make big play after big play. Sometimes they're subtle plays that maybe the fans don't see, but they're obviously very noticeable to our coaching staff."
On Ryan Radcliff's throwing:
"I thought Ryan threw very well. He threw the deep ball very well and he was very accurate. I wish we could have Ryan back here another year if nothing else. But yeah, I thought Ryan threw the ball very well."
On having this event the day before spring practice starts:
"We had a 5:45 a.m. workout this morning with our team to welcome them back from spring break. Then they were all out here because our guys don't have morning classes, most of them don't. It's great. It gives it a little energy, a little enthusiasm. You have to have goals and you have to have dreams. You have to have opportunities to reach those goals, so it's great for our young guys to be able to see something like this. They see the excitement and feel the adrenaline out here. I know that will carry over to tomorrow morning."