Fry gets OK to play after #8216;miraculous#8217; recovery

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

ATLANTA — Roman Fry may be as hard-headed as he is a hard worker.

The former Ironton star and All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard at Clemson suffered a season-ending knee injury last year that also ruined what was projected as a first day selection in the NFL draft.

After his surgery, Fry began a stringent workout schedule to rehabilitate his knee in hopes of returning to the playing field.

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Dr. Scott Gillogy, the Atlanta Falcons team physician and an orthopedic surgeon who did his surgery, didn’t give Fry much hope. He told Fry’s agent that his client would probably be wise if he began to look in other directions career-wise.

Fry didn’t buy the diagnosis.

“I’ve been busting my tail to get healthy and I went back one more time,” said Fry.

“I went back to doctor and he checked me and said ‘It’s the most miraculous comeback I’ve ever seen. I’m going to recommend you and if anyone calls I’m going to tell them that you’re the hardest worker I’ve ever seen.’

“My doctor is behind me 100 percent. It was a special thing today.”

Although Fry has been putting himself through a grueling workout schedule, he admits he wasn’t sure if his desire and determination would be enough to overcome the severity of the injury.

“It was a shock to me. I’ve trained hard, but you can’t disguise if you’re better. The doctor is going to know,” said Fry. “If I can overcome the wear and tear and fatigue, then I’ll show them I can play like I left off.”

Not only did Fry get the “thumbs up” to play again, he said his injured right leg tested stronger than his left leg. In fact, when he was placed in a special chair to measure the knee he eclipsed previous records of other injured players.

“I broke the chair I was pushing so hard. He said I broke the record for the strongest legs he’s ever seen. He said I had the strongest quads he’s ever seen,” said Fry.

With the doctor’s blessing to play again, Fry cancelled some job interviews.

“I had started looking at other things and I had some job opportunities. I was supposed to fly to Wisconsin (Friday) for a job interview,” said Fry.

Fry spent the past few months as the assistant strength coach and special teams coach for East Tennessee State. He said the coaches at ETSU knew the situation might be temporary.

“(ETSU) knew my deal and now it’s here,” said Fry. “The good thing about being here was getting to see the scouts who come through and to talk to them.”

Fry, who still has a vertical leap of 31 inches, said he currently stands 6-foot-4, 305 pounds. He said he has all ready scheduled some tryouts with NFL teams.

“I play my best football at 295 to 300,” said Fry. “I love playing football. I’m ready to step on the gas right now. You can’t buy that at Wal-Mart.”