BOONE — Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr enjoyed a standout college career with the Mountaineers.
So have running back Darrynton Evans, linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, tackle Victor Johnson and safety Josh Thomas. They have all made big contributions to the App State program and this fall, they would like to make big contributions to NFL teams.
The first step is the NFL draft, taking place April 23-26. They would like to be selected during that time, but will also be happy to sign a free-agent deal with any team should they not be drafted.
Evans and Davis-Gaither have been getting most of the attention from media outlets leading up to the draft. Fehr said both players deserve the attention, and he feels good about Davis-Gaither’s chances about being picked.
Fehr isn’t afraid that the attention Davis-Gaither is receiving will hurt his draft status. Fehr said it’s not a comparison situation, and that they both represent App State and have been friends for a long time.
“I’m not worried about that at all,” Fehr said. “Akeem is a great player and a better person. He deserves it all for sure. He got a lot of great attention during the season and he did great in the Senior Bowl and all of that is going to pay off. I’m super excited for him and his future.”
Fehr led the Mountaineers with 109 tackles, while Davis-Gaither finished second with 104. Thomas was fourth with 72. Davis-Gaither had five sacks and Thomas had an interception against Louisiana.
Offensively, Evans finished with 1,480 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing.
“It’s always in the back of your mind, but I try not to think about it,” Fehr said of the draft. “I try to control what I can control. I’ve spoken well with teams in interviews in phone calls. Unfortunately we didn’t get a pro day or any visits or prime workouts and stuff, but I’m trying to make the most of it as far as interviews with teams.”
“I’m trying to expect the worst and pray for the best,” Fehr added. “I’m not going to get my hopes up too high and try to predict myself going here or there. I’m going to enjoy the journey and wherever I land I’ll be happy and excited for the opportunity.”
Fehr did not get a chance to show his skills during an Appalachian State Pro Day, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 virus. He has been able to keep himself in condition by working out at his home in Charlotte.
“I’ve been able to do a good job of staying in shape,” Fehr said. “I have access to a private gym and I have free weights and accessories in my garage. I have field access here in my hometown.”
Fehr was also not able to work out for pro scouts, but feels the game film on him speaks for itself. Fehr hopes scouts will look at the games he played at North Carolina and South Carolina.
Fehr finished with 16 tackles in the Mountaineers’ 34-31 win over North Carolina and made with 12 tackles, including a sack for a 10-yard loss, against South Carolina. Both overall tackles totals led the App State defense in those victories.
“Those were two of the bigger Power Five games we played, so it shows Group of Five against Power Five,” Fehr said. “It doesn’t really matter, so it was a showcase to show what I can do against those bigger schools on paper and thankfully we were able to get the win in both of them.”
Fehr isn’t as concerned about not doing the speed, agility and weightlifting drills in front of the scouts.
“It’s a lot different running around in compression shorts than being suited up and having to play a game,” Fehr said. “There are similarities with a pro day to what goes on the field, but ultimately if you can play, the tape is going to show you can play and that is the most important factor.”
Fehr also played in the Collegiate Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 18. The game is similar to the Senior Bowl and features two all-star teams comprised of seniors looking to improve their draft status. The game is played in the Rose Bowl.
The National team, coached by Marvin Lewis, beat the team Fehr played for, the American team, coached by Hue Jackson, 30-20.
“It was great,” Fehr said. “It was great to get our names out there and get our brands out there the best we could. We talked to a lot of teams throughout the week face-to-face. Practices were very competitive and the game was very competitive. It was a great taste of what’s to come for sure.”