Marist’s Fede, Myers Meet in NFL Game Sunday

Sunday, September 20, 2015
by Mike Ferraro, Marist Sports Information

POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – One of the most important days in the history of the Marist football program will take place on Sunday, Sept. 20.

And it will occur 1,019 miles south of Tenney Stadium.

For the first time, two Marist graduates will share the field in an NFL game when the Miami Dolphins face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville. Terrence Fede, who played for the Red Foxes from 2009-13, is in his second season as a defensive end for the Dolphins. Jason Myers, who played at Marist from 2009-12, is in his first season as a place-kicker for the Jaguars.

Kickoff is set for 4:05 p.m. The game will be televised regionally on CBS, including the New York metropolitan area. It is available on the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package on Channel 715.

“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,” Marist head coach Jim Parady said. “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.”

Approximately two-thirds of programs in the Football Championship Subdivision have fewer than two players currently active in the NFL. Marist is the only school of the 11-member Pioneer Football League with anyone playing in the NFL.

Fede began his second season in the NFL with a strong performance in Miami’s 17-10 win at Washington on Sept. 13. He finished with four tackles and two assists. Myers made his NFL regular-season debut this past Sunday in Jacksonville’s 20-9 loss to Carolina. He was 1-for-2 on field-goal attempts and had touchbacks on all three of his kickoffs.

There may be an opportunity for Fede and Myers to be on the field at the same time. In addition to seeing plenty of snaps at defensive end, Fede is a contributor on special teams, which included time last week on Miami’s PAT/field goal block team. When Myers kicks off, Fede may be on the other side as part of Miami’s kickoff return team.

So the possibility exists that a team can score points with both players on the field simultaneously – or Fede can block one of Myers’ kicks.

“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.”

“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.”

In Fede’s senior season at Marist, he became the Red Foxes’ single-season and career record holder for sacks while leading the Red Foxes to a Pioneer Football League co-championship. He was named PFL Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, presented to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.

On May 10, 2014, Fede became the first player in program history to be selected in the NFL Draft, when the Dolphins chose him in the seventh round with the 234th overall pick. In his rookie year, he established himself in Miami’s defensive line rotation and became a stalwart on special teams. In Week 16 against Minnesota, Fede blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety in the final minute, which gave Miami its margin of victory in a 37-35 triumph.

In his second season, Fede has become more acclimated to what the NFL has to offer.

“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 took over as Marist’s primary kicker early in his freshman season of 2009. He departed Marist ranked first in the program’s record books for career points by a kicker, and longest field goal. Following graduation, he kicked for the Arizona Rattlers and San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League in 2014. He also honed his kicking skills at Husted Kicking with former NFL kicker Michael Husted and Kenny Spencer, who kicks for the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena League.

Myers signed with the Jaguars on March 3, 2015. In organized team activities and mini-camps during the spring, he was competing with fellow kickers Josh Scobee and Derek Dimke. On May 11, Dimke was released. On Aug. 31, Scobee – who had been the Jaguars’ kicker since 2004 – was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which cleared the way for Myers’ opportunity.

For Myers, merely being in the NFL isn’t enough. He’s counting on making an impact.

“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.”

Both Fede and Myers have remained loyal to the Marist football program since graduation. Fede’s hometown of Nyack, New York is just over an hour south of the Marist campus. He maintains contact with the current players and coaching staff, and spoke to the team last season. He attended this year’s Spring Game with his agent, former Marist football player Sean Stellato.

This past Saturday, Miami arrived for its Sunday game at Washington while Marist was also in the area for its contest at Georgetown. Fede supported the Red Foxes on the sideline in the first half, made his way to radio booth for a halftime interview with the Red Fox Network’s Ed Weir, and got back to his hotel in time for a Saturday night team meeting with the help of an uber driver.

On Nov. 7, when the Marist football team hosts Stetson, a bobblehead of Fede will be given to the first 1,000 fans.

Myers is a native of Chula Vista, California, which lies just south of San Diego. Through emails and text messages, Myers has maintained his connections with former teammates and coaches, and has offered to help out in any way possible. He attended Marist’s Pioneer Football League game at the University of San Diego in 2013.

While Sunday’s game marks the first time two former Marist football players take the field in an NFL stadium, those around the program believe there will be more frequent occurrences in the future.

“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. “Sometimes it comes easier, but for someone like myself it takes a couple of years and a lot of hard work, dedication and mindset to not let go and not give up.”

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