7 Points With DE Chris Frome

After tearing his ACL his junior year, Notre Dame DE Chris Frome battled back to return to the lineup for his senior season and is now waiting for the call that will give him the opportunity to battle for an NFL roster spot. Learn more about him in this exclusive interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson.

Ed Thompson: Let's talk about your senior year. A nine-game starter, you worked really hard to have that opportunity coming up through the ranks and overcoming an injury. Did that make your senior year a little more special?

Chris Frome: Yes, it was real special just because after my knee injury last year in the USC game I wasn't sure how it was going to pan out or how my knee was going to handle football again, but it ended up working out and I worked my way back and got my spot back - it was a great year. Things could have gone a little better for the team, but I was happy to be out there.

ET: What do you think was your favorite memory from your senior year?

CF: Probably that Michigan State game; that was a big game for us. We were down about three touchdowns and we came back in the rain and there were a lot of memories in that game. Between that and the UCLA game at home, we had some great, great memories.

ET: Talk a little about the knee injury and how did you rehab it to come back as well as you did?

CF: During the USC game, it was a pass play and I was in the backfield chasing after (QB Matt) Leinart and our other defensive end sacked him right in front of me. I ended up jumping over the pile and coming down on it wrong and ended up with a torn ACL. I had surgery about three days later and from then on out I was just constantly in the pool as much as I could, doing everything. I was on crutches for a little while, but I was moving as much as I could. The training staff here really helped me out a lot. I was training two times a day and I was able to come back in about six months and was feeling pretty good.

ET: A lasting image as you were being taken off the field was you pumping your fist at the crowd. How were you able to keep your spirits that high and how, when you had an injury that was that painful, were you able to find that gesture within yourself?

CF: The most memorable game was that USC game. I know we lost but the energy in the stadium was unlike anything I've ever seen before. That was obviously a big play for us, it was a sack, a big play for Victor, and the crowd just went dead quiet after I got hurt.  So when I got back up I just wanted--I mean, I pretty much knew I was hurt and not coming back into the game--I wanted to get the crowd excited again and get something going. I look back at it now and it's kind of silly, but it was a great feeling when I was coming off the field to get that kind of support.

(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
ET: Obviously one thing the pros count on is young players coming in and being able to contribute on special teams. Talk a little about how you think you can help a team with your experience…

CF: Absolutely. When you're coming through a program like Notre Dame, or any great D-I program, you have to work your way up through the ranks and that's something I had to do. A great way to get on the field early is to play special teams and I know Coach Weiss loves guys that play hard on special teams. I did it under Coach Willingham, so my first year I redshirted, but my sophomore and junior years I played a lot of special teams. I played on all four special teams during my career so I think it's something that would come a little more natural to me and maybe a little faster than for some other guys. Any way I can get on the field and contribute is something I'm looking forward to.

ET: I know you're a pretty smart fellow, so how much has that helped you in understanding the game and picking up the techniques needed to be successful?

CF: Especially when Coach Weiss came in and we had an entirely new, complicated scheme for college. There were a lot of little intricacies that we needed to memorize on the defensive line and it was nice to be able to do that. Our coaching staff helped us and there are a lot of smart guys at our school so we were able to pick it up pretty easily and it ended up being a pretty good year for us.

ET: Character and attitude have become such a big focus these days, what do you think your teammates would say about you?

CF: Our defensive line last year, we were all seniors and veteran players. We were looked at as the leaders of the defense. We all had our own ways of motivating people, but I would say I'm more of a leader by example as a player. I've always been involved with the whole team. We've always been a real tight-knit community on our football team and that's something that I hear changes a lot at the next level, but I always like to stay close to my teammates. We're always around the campus together and it's great to be able to have that.

Scout.com subscribers can click here to read the rest of this interview with Chris where he talks about his Pro Day performances, his strengths as a defensive end, and who's been calling him as the draft approaches! And you can learn more about Chris by visiting his player profile page.

A member of the Professional Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's NFL and college football player interviews and features have been published across the Scout.com network and syndicated through FoxSports.com's NFL team pages.

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