Fry Glad to be Back on Field

CLEMSON – Football has been Roman Fry's passion since he was a boy. He's loved it, embraced it and has given it as much respect any player possibly could. Now, the game is there for him just when he needs it most.

Fry, a redshirt senior, enters his final Clemson campaign with loads of outside praise, hype and expectations. He is only one of 54 named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is presented to the nation's best offensive or defensive lineman.

However, he also enters with a heavy heart after he and fellow lineman Nathan Bennett were involved in a Jet Ski accident that resulted in the death of friend and assistant track coach Jarrett Foster on July 8.

Yes, the blowing of the whistle and grind of two-a-day practices is a welcomed site for Fry.

"Me and Nathan went through an event with our close friend Jarrett, but we're back to football," Fry told in his first interview since the accident. "That's what he'd want us to do – be back on the field and start practicing and going back at it. We've been working hard and we're really pleased with what's going on and just going out every day to get better."

The entire Clemson community has rallied around Fry, Bennett and the Fosters, which has made things a little more comforting.

"There's been tremendous support from the fans, the players and everyone," he said. "There's too many people to name. I really thank those people for thinking about me, as well as the Foster family and everyone that was involved with what happen."

Mentally, Fry is doing very well.

Physically, he's one of the main reason's the Clemson offense is expected to do so well this year.

As one of the leaders on the most experienced offensive line in the ACC, Fry is making sure he and his teammates up front are ready for what the other teams have in store.

"We do have experience and as a group we come out and work to get better every day," he said. "We want to be (the best) line. We obviously know there's a lot of preseason hype and that people are going to be coming at us, but that just makes you work even harder. You want to get better out here every day. You don't want to go a day that you did not get better as a whole."

But Fry isn't stopping there. He's doing his best to get the entire team on board with pushing and getting better in every practice.

"We've got plenty of guys with a lot of individual preseason honors and everything, but we've tried to channel that to the rest of the team and the sense of urgency we have," he said. "You try to make them realize that it's time to play ball."

For his part, Fry has increased his weight by pounds putting on more muscle mass. He's stronger than last season, which saw him earn All-ACC honors.

"I started camp up around 308 pounds and am staying around 305 pounds," he said. "I wanted to enter camp a little heavier so when weight loss does happen during camp, I can play at a little bit of a heavier weight above 300 pounds."

Famed basketball player Michael Jordan often said the gym was the one place he felt at piece following the tragic murder of his father.

For Fry, it's the football field.

"I'm ready to get after it," he said. "I like playing football with my buddies. …

"We're a close, tight-knit family. We've got a good group of guys and we all care about each other and that's what the good teams do. We consider ourselves a family. It's good to get back around these guys." Top Stories