Aug. 23, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio University football players all got a taste of what life in the NFL was like Tuesday night as former NFL wide receiver Irving Fryar spoke to the Bobcats at a team meeting inside Peden Stadium.
The message: get your degree and remember who you represent.
Fryar's presentation to the team lasted over an hour and a half and focused on the importance of a college education and proper use of social media. In addition, Fryar informed members of the football team that the average NFL career lasts less than six years.
"A lot of us - including myself - make choices and decisions in our lives based on how we grew up, what we know or what we saw as opposed to taking the right kind of information that is necessary for life," Fryar said. "To have the opportunity to speak with student athletes, who are getting ready to go into the real world is very important."
Fryar, who played with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, was recruited by Ohio head coach Frank Solich to play football at Nebraska. Today the 17-year NFL veteran serves as an ambassador for the league's Player Development initiative.
"I think the most important thing with Dr. Fryar was that he was real with us in his presentation," said senior captain Jordan Thompson. "As someone who played in the NFL for 17 years, he's been through a lot of things and he knows what it's like to be a professional athlete."
In addition to his five Pro Bowl appearances and 15,594 all-purpose yards, Fryar also holds his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from the North Carolina College of Theology. The New Jersey native also holds a bachelor's degree from the South Florida Bible College.
"Guys who are sitting in that room really pay attention because they know I am talking from experience," Fryar said. "It is really satisfying to me when I get an opportunity to see guys make a change in their lives for the better and hopefully this presentation opened their eyes."
"I think guys our team really appreciated the fact that Dr. Fryar wasn't fake," Thompson said. "I think our team came away from the presentation with a new perspective on their future."