Former Marist players Fede, Myers set to share NFL field
(STATS) - Terrence Fede became the first Marist player to hear his name called at the NFL draft last year. Just over 16 months later, he'll be able to hold a Red Foxes reunion on the field Sunday in Jacksonville.
That's because Jason Myers won the kicking job for the Jaguars, and when former college teammate Fede and the Miami Dolphins come into EverBank Field, it will mark the first time Marist fans can watch two of their alumni play in the same NFL game.
"It is a historic day for Marist College and the football program, and gives us a major boost with recruiting and recognition for the college," coach Jim Parady told the school's official website. "There aren't many FCS programs that have multiple players playing in the NFL, and for the schedule to work out where they play each other is fantastic."
Fede was picked in the seventh round by Miami after an outstanding senior year in 2013 in which the defensive lineman set a program record with 13 sacks. That gave him 30 1/2 for his career, the most in school history, and he was named the Pioneer Football League Defensive Player of the Year as the Red Foxes were co-champions of the PFL.
Fede played in 11 games as a rookie and finished with just 10 tackles with one sack, but he made his presence felt in Week 16. With the Dolphins and visiting Minnesota Vikings tied at 35 with under a minute to go, Fede blocked a punt out of the end zone and was credited with a safety that gave Miami a 37-35 win.
In the 2015 opener, he made six tackles in a 17-10 victory over the Washington Redskins.
"My rookie year was a major adjustment," Fede said. "It was like being a freshman all over again, trying to earn respect from the players and coaches. I think I have the trust from my coaches and teammates, and I want to make everyone proud by going out there and working hard."
Myers' route to the NFL was a little longer and different after leaving as Marist's all-time leader for points by a kicker. After he graduated following the 2012 season, Myers played for Arizona and San Jose in the Arena Football League in 2014 before being signed by Jacksonville in March.
His dream came true Aug. 31 when the Jaguars traded longtime kicker Josh Scobee to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Myers had a shaky NFL debut last Sunday, kicking a 22-yard field goal but missing from 44 while also failing to convert an extra point from the NFL's new distance of 33 yards in a 20-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
"I haven't really allowed myself to sit back and think that 'I've made it,'" Myers said. "Because this isn't 'making it' for me. I don't want to just get to this level. I want to thrive at this level, and if I settle for just making it, I won't get to where I want to."
If he wants to thrive Sunday, he better keep an eye on Fede.
"I'm going to work my hardest to block one of his kicks," Fede said. "If that does happen, once the game is over, we'll be friends like we always have been. But we're wearing different jerseys now, and we're both working our hardest to help our team win."
Myers doesn't blame his buddy for saying he's coming after him.
"Once that whistle blows, we each have a job to do for our team," Myers said. "But it'll be fun to be on the field at the same time with him being on so many special teams as well. It'll be back to being great friends once the clock goes down to zeroes."
Fede and Myers were two of 133 players who played at current FCS schools that made an NFL team's opening 53-man squad, according to a STATS analysis of Week 1 rosters. The pair are the only players representing the Pioneer League.
"Speaking for myself, I hope that I've proven to the guys at Marist, or any other player out there, that there's not just one path to get into the NFL," Myers said.