When a high school is playing with a big safety, many times a college recruiter is looking at that player and thinking linebacker. And that is exactly what coaches are thinking when they watch Sean Fisher in action.
"I actually play free safety at my school, but I am just being recruited as a linebacker for college," said Fisher. "At our school, free safety is not a traditional free safety position. It is not a traditional dropback in coverage type of player. At our school, the free safety position is always involved in run support on almost every play. It is almost an extended backer type of position with pass responsibility also."
Fisher broke into the starting line-up last season at free safety and had a super year coming up with 92 tackles (70 solo), three interceptions and four fumbles caused. He can bench 275 pounds, squat 495 and vertical jump 33 inches. And when you add the totals, it adds up to more of linebacker than safety.
"I would have to say linebacker," said Fisher on what position he'd like to play in college. "With the speed factor the way it is when you think about playing in the secondary, then 4.6 is not really fast enough in my eyes. It is also kind of the job description that interests me more. Playing safety at the college level, you are playing four-deep and you are just dropping back. But I like to be involved more in run support."
Fisher didn't expect to draw much attention publicly and he wasn't sure where he stood in recruiting when his junior season ended, but now that he is wracking up offers and talking to coaches from all over the country, he realizes that he must be a pretty good player.
"If you would have told me two months ago that I would have a lot of scholarship offers, I would have probably laughed at you," said Fisher. "All this attention came as a surprise to me, honestly. I would say it is going pretty well, but it is a little overwhelming at times. I am pretty happy with how things are going."
Fisher feels his physical play is what gives him a chance to be a key factor on the field.
"Physicality is my main attribute," said Fisher. "I pride myself on loving to hit people. I make plays all over the field and I have a pretty good nose for the football. I enjoy playing run support more and I know that the fact that I like to hit people goes into some of that. That is probably the main reason. It is not that I don't enjoy the pass side of it, but that is why I like my position because I do support the run. Then I get to college at the same position and I am covering guys in the secondary. That is just not what I do best."
Fisher went to combines in Columbus, Ohio and Iowa City, Iowa before his junior season. He has been to Junior Days at Nebraska, Kansas State, Iowa State, but more and more offers are coming in every week.
"I have been offered by Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Arizona State, Washington, Northwestern and Vanderbilt," said Fisher. "I am talking to a number of other schools, as well like Oklahoma. Coach (Brent) Venables was in school on Tuesday. He said that they wanted to confirm that I was really 6-5. They came out and watched me run a little bit in a class that we have. I am under the impression that they are a team that is fairly interested because they came to visit. As I understand it, Coach Venables will go back and talk to Coach (Bob) Stoops about offering me."
Does Fisher have a legitimate interest Oklahoma?
"Yeah, if they were to offer they would become one of the top schools that I would consider," said Fisher. "They would definitely become one of my top choices."
Most great players who grow up in Nebraska grow up dreaming of being a Cornhusker, but Fisher is not so enamored with his home state school to shut the door on other opportunities.
"A lot of people think that because you live in Nebraska, people here think it's the only route to go," said Fisher. "I just want to be comfortable and find a school that fits me best, and not just pick a school because of their name. I don't want to go to Nebraska just because it is Nebraska and I live here. If Nebraska is the best for me, then I will go there. But if some other place is best for me, then I have no problem going out of state."
Fisher is far enough along in recruiting to have a top five.
"My top five is Nebraska, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Iowa," said Fisher. "Nebraska would be my favorite as of now since OU has not officially offered."
Fisher says he hopes to take some unofficial visits this summer. But he will wait and see who does officially offer and who he has the most interest in by the beginning of the summer before deciding where to visit. He says he plans to spend most of the summer working out with his teammates in the weight room, but he would go to a camp if he really likes a school and that school hasn't offered him by the beginning of the summer.
Fisher says another option could be to go to camp at that school to show them what they are missing, and to find out why they haven't been interested enough to offer at this point.
Fisher is a very good student and he has qualified.
"Academics are very important to me because I want to be a doctor," said Fisher. "That factor plays into my decision quite a bit. Tradition of the program is big for me. I like the game of college football and I want to play for a program that has a great tradition. I want to go to a program with great fans who feel about the program the same way that I will. The coaching staff is a big part of it because you are going to spend a lot of time with that staff over the next four or five years. I just want to feel comfortable with the staff and I just want to feel comfortable with my decision."