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Fisher drawing attention to Central Michigan, MAC

Monday - 3/11/2013, 8:19pm  ET

NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) -- Eric Fisher's presence at Central Michigan's pro day meant a little more attention for some of his teammates.

"He brought in the whole world," defensive back Jahleel Addae said after showing off his ability in front of a number of NFL representatives. "That was good. It gave all of us a chance to showcase our talent to everybody that was out there."

Fisher's stock seems to be rising as the NFL draft approaches. The hulking left tackle is projected to go in the top five picks in some mock drafts -- which would give Central Michigan and the Mid-American Conference a major publicity boost. Fisher was a third-team AP All-American last season, and although he was seldom in the spotlight in college, that could change soon in a big way.

"To be honest, I like being under the radar," Fisher said. "I'm on a mission to get as high as possible, so we'll see what happens in April."

A CMU spokesman estimated that there were representatives from over twice as many NFL teams as at last year's pro day. Fisher actually spent a lot of time standing around. He didn't take part in testing stations like the 40-yard dash, saying he was happy with his results at the NFL combine, but he did participate in some drills toward the end.

The 6-foot-7, 304-pound Fisher towered over some of the other players on the field. It wasn't hard to find him, even when he was standing off to the side.

"We saw Fish a few years ago, and we saw a really big, lean guy that could run," Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said. "Our thing was, we said that if he can ever get to 300 pounds and maintain it, he'll have a chance to be as good and go as high as he wants to go."

Behind players like Fisher, Addae and wide receiver Cody Wilson, the Chippewas went 7-6 last season, winning their last four games, including the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Western Kentucky. Fisher received plenty of attention even before the season was over.

"We had general managers, we had player personnel directors during the season come watch us practice and everything," Enos said. "Obviously today, we had a really good representation."

Fisher went to the Senior Bowl in January, and by the time the combine rolled around, he appeared to be closing the gap on fellow tackle Luke Joeckel, the presumptive No. 1 pick.

Now, some mock drafts at NFL.com have Joeckel and Fisher going 1-2 -- the order depends on the analyst. Kansas City has the first pick next month, followed by Jacksonville.

Fisher doesn't put a whole lot of stock in those types of projections, but if there's a chance to be taken first overall, he'd certainly embrace it.

"I think that would be great for this program," he said. "Great for me and my family, but it's awesome representing the school and the Chippewas."

If Fisher is taken first, it would be yet another big moment for the MAC, which sent Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl last year. And there's certainly precedent for a Central Michigan lineman going early. Joe Staley was taken in the first round by San Francisco in 2007, and he's started every game he's played for the 49ers in the six seasons since.

"I think it just helps give validity to everything we talk to young men about in recruiting," Enos said. "You want to play in the NFL, you want to be an All-American, you want to be a first-round draft choice, you don't have to go to a Big Ten school or an SEC school to do that. You can come to our school."

At times, Fisher seems a bit amazed by how this process has unfolded, but there are still several weeks to go, and he'll be evaluated probably all the way up until the time his name is called at the draft.

It may feel like a whirlwind at times, but Fisher is determined to keep his focus.

"I'm just a very competitive person," he said. "I work to be No. 1 in everything I do. I'm a very hard worker, I'm good at what I do. In the end, it's up to them."


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