"It was crazy there," Fein, who is now 24, told JCFootball.com. "I wasn't really scared, but it made you appreciate what you have back here and it was basically about survival every day.
"That's sort of what you get when you go out on the football field, especially playing at the MIK (middle linebacker) like I do. You're constantly looking for who is coming at you from different angles and then still trying to read where the back is going."
Shortly after finishing a distinguished career at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Washington, Fein decided to enlist in the Army.
"I needed to money for school and I didn't have the grades to go to college at that point, so I joined up," Fein said. "It made me grow up and gave me the discipline I needed to be successful for the rest of my life.
"I went to boot camp at Ft. Knox in Kentucky and boot is a lot different than training camp. At boot, you're trying to get in fighting shape and still be agile and nimble. Out here you need to be bigger and more physical. It's really a contrast."
Scottsdale held a special place in Fein's heart because he had friends who attended school there and he loved the weather. Now, after a standout freshman season, Fein has offers from four schools and says that several more are close to offering as well.
"California, Nebraska, Michigan State and Washington State are the four who have offered so far," Fein, who runs a 4.55 forty and boasts a 450-pound bench, said. "Missouri, Arizona State and Oregon State are also pretty close to offering.
"I took a visit to Michigan State for the Notre Dame game (9/23) and it was an amazing atmosphere," Fein noted. "I loved the school and the fans. It's just too bad that they ended up losing, but it was still a lot of fun."
Fein mentioned he is talking to Cal and Nebraska about visits during November and that he will probably visit Washington State after their season.
"I'm pretty open right now, but the four who have offered would have to be my favorites," Fein said.
Fein will have three years to play two at the next level and he plans to graduate in December.