Before kickoff Saturday in the Glass Bowl press box, I introduced myself to the man next to me – a good decision looking back.
While shaking his firm, wrinkled hand, I could not help but notice his enormous four-straight AFC Championship Buffalo Bills ring on his hand. Looking at his Bills coat, shirt and notebook, my journalist (or common) sense kicked in; he was an NFL scout.
“Here to look at some Central Michigan players?” I had to ask.
“Yeah, is 73 dressed?”
“Olson? He is out for a few weeks now,” I said of senior Jake Olson, a four-year starter at offensive tackle. “But he should be back soon.”
“I know, wondering if he is dressing,” he said.
“Who else from CMU are you looking at?”
“79. And the senior safety. Also, the quarterback and receiver.”
Many things could be taken from this very short conversation, but one is obvious: This CMU team has some NFL talent.
There are currently seven former Chippewas in the NFL. Two of them were on the 2010 CMU roster, but none from last season.
While one scout from one team is not rare to see at a game, the two-minute chat showed this year’s CMU team might be turning heads.
Senior Eric Fisher is number 79. He is listed as the fourth–best offensive tackle by NFLdraftscout.com. Also, during a recent live chat, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper answered Eric Fisher as his first answer when asked which senior has come out of nowhere to improve his draft status this year.
This Bills scout did not mention specific names, possibly because he is not allowed to. But he did not deny the safety he was looking at was senior Jahleel Addae.
Addae is a highly-ranked strong safety also on NFLdraftscout.com. He led CMU in tackles last year and was a first–team All-MAC safety in 2011.
The quarterback he mentioned was obviously senior Ryan Radcliff. The Ohio native has started every game for three years and holds second place in most of the CMU career–passing categories. NFLdraftscout.com had him as the 23 best passer in college.
CMU has plenty of wide receivers with skill and ability that can translate to the NFL.
Sophomore Titus Davis stands out, but he was most likely talking about senior Cody Wilson. Davis, Deon Butler and Courtney Williams’ time will come to get looks from scouts, but Wilson is available for NFL rosters next season.
While Fisher appears to be on his way to playing on Sundays professionally, a few Chippewas may be following him to the NFL. The only guarantee at this point is a more eventful Senior Day this spring as opposed to last year’s.
For those NFL prospects this fall, the Bills scout said he will be visiting Mount Pleasant for the Ball State game on Oct. 20 to get a second look at some players.