Fry moving forward with new career
Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008
NASHVILLE — Roman Fry is looking for the best deal. So are his customers.
The former Clemson All-American lineman is stilling looking and listening for that one great deal from an NFL team that he can’t turn down. But for now, he’s offering his customers the best deal he can make on a new Mercedes Benz.
With his hopes of playing in the NFL fading, Fry has shifted to a new career as a car salesman and he is attacking his new job in a similar fashion to his old job of playing football.
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Fry’s senior year at Clemson had the makings of a dream come true story.
A preseason first team All-Atlantic Conference selection, Outland Trophy candidate, and Sports Illustrated first team All-American choice, Fry was looking forward to a great season and a first day selection in the NFL draft.
But it all came crashing to a halt on Clemson’s third offensive play against Georgia Tech. A torn ACL ended Fry’s season and now, probably, his hopes of a pro football career.
Fry had surgery and began an intense workout regiment to get his knee back in shape. He knew it would take at least a year to rehab and get back in shape, but he didn’t know if there would be any viable offers awaiting unproven damaged goods.
After exhausting Arena Football League and other options, Fry is ready to wave the white flag.
“I guess I’m retiring. I had to jump through lot of hoops,” said Fry with a disappointment in his voice. “But I can make six figures at this. Do I want to play in Canada or somewhere.
“The arena league is not for me. I always played at the highest level and if I can’t play at the highest level, it’s not for me. I still have that competitiveness in me.”
That competitive drive is now being channeled in a different outlet as he works selling cars.
“I’ve had great success at it. Things have worked out really well. I’ve been blessed,” said Fry who had just returned from delivering a car to the home of country singer George Jones.
Fry works for a dealership that claims Tennessee Titans Albert Haynes and country singers Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw as clients.
“I’ve got good people to work with here. It’s like being surrounded by good people on a football team,” said Fry.
“I was doing it on the side. I got pretty good at what I was doing. I had success at it. I’m having fun.”
Fry said doctors told him rehab on his knee was a two-year deal. He admitted he was pushing it and “it still bothers me now and then.”
It has taken time, but Fry said he has overcome his biter disappointment and taken a new approach to his life.
“I had a good career. I accomplished what I wanted. I could have done more, but I can’t worry about that. You just have to move on,” said Fry.
“I graduated college degree with double major, that’s something no one can take from me. I was an All-American. I played in bowl games, I’ve been on national television, I have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Fry said he is taking a positive approach to his new job even if he does have hopes of an NFL career still nesting in the back of his mind.
“I never pictured myself doing this. My grandpa did it for awhile, but not me,” said Fry. “I wanted to make quick money and I wanted to sell the best, so I went with Mercedes Benz. I never thought I’d tell anyone to go into car sells.”
The aggressive 6-foot-4, 300-pound Fry was always going full-tilt even during his All-Ohio playing days at Ironton High School. Fry was the poster child for giving 100 percent effort at all times, whether it was in practice or in a game.
“To make it professionally, you have to have a lot of luck,” said Fry. “As long as you play ever play like it’s your last, and I always did, then you have no regrets. I gave the game everything I had.”