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March 18, 2013

Path to the Draft: Ryan Radcliff

While there has been a lot of buzz about Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher heading into this April's NFL Draft, but he is not the only Chippewa on scout's radar.

Quarterback Ryan Radcliff was a three-year starter and finished his career at CMU at the No. 2 spot in almost every major passing category. As a senior, he threw for 3,158 yards and 23 touchdowns, with only nine interceptions. Radcliff is an under-the-radar prospect who performed well at last week's CMU Pro Day and should get a chance to make a NFL roster.

We recently had a chance to catch up with Radcliff to get his thoughts on the upcoming draft and his time as a Chippewa.

1) You were recruited by Butch Jones and his staff. After Coach Enos was hired, you had to switch to a fairly different offensive system. How difficult was that transition for you as the quarterback and how tough was the transition for the rest of the team?

It was very tough at first, mainly because the coaching styles and philosophies were quite different, but Coach Enos and his staff did a great job transitioning the team. As the years have progressed, I believe that we have gotten stronger and stronger.

2) Coming off of Pro Day, how would you evaluate your own performance at the event?

Overall, I was really pleased. My testing numbers were average, but that was kind of what I expected. I really wanted to show well in the throwing drills and I felt that I was able to perform to the standards that I have set for myself in that area of my game.

3) How crazy is it to see Eric Fisher as a potential No. 1 overall pick and did you see that potential playing with him over the years?

He has matured quite a bit in his time here at Central and each year you could see his potential growing. I believe he has done a great job of maximizing and reaching that potential and now it's looking like it will pay off for him. For me, it is awesome to see that and know that I got to play with him for 4 years.

4) You have had a chance to play with and against (in practice) guys like Antonio Brown, Kito Poblah, Bryan Anderson, Josh Gordy, Vince Agnew and Nick Bellore. What did you learn from them to help prepare you for the NFL?

One of the biggest things that I was able to take away from my time with those guys was seeing their work ethic and attention to detail and then trying to apply that to my game.

5)You were not invited to the NFL Combine and Central Michigan is often referred to as a "small school" by scouts. Would it be fair to say that you have a little chip on your shoulder heading into the draft?

To an extent, yes. Honestly, that was basically my story coming out of high school as well, so I have learned how to deal with it and I think that I gives me an edge over some other players.

6) How would you describe the CMU-WMU rivalry now that you have been
through those battles?

There is really no other game that compares to that one. The focus, preparation, intensity and attitude leading up to the game and during that game is taken to a whole new level and being a part of that rivalry was awesome and all I can say is that I wish I could play that last game against them again and come out on top.

7) There are several guys who are going to battle for the quarterback spot next season. You have been around Alex Niznak for two years and Cody Kater and Cooper Rush for one season. What are the best attributes that those guys bring to the table?

Niznak is a great athlete with tons of God-given natural ability. There are times when he can go on a streak of great passes and decisions. Kater just doesn't lose. Everywhere he has been, he has won. He is a good athlete, makes great decisions with the ball in his hand and has a good understanding of the game. Cooper has unreal accuracy. I don't know if I have ever seen him throw a ball that wasn't a spiral. He is still young, but he has learned a lot over the past year and I think will really strongly compete for the starting spot.

8) Who are some young players on the offensive and defensive sides of
the ball at CMU that you see potential in?

You got to see a bit of what Andrew Flory could do. He is extremely talented and I think he will shine next year. Jesse Kroll is another guy who I think will be another solid receiver and could contribute. He could end up with around 500 receiving yards. Saylor Lavallii will be a great backup to Zurlon. On defense, I believe that our true freshmen linemen that played this year are really going to shine for quite some time to come in the future. My sleeper pick on the defensive side of the ball is linebacker Nathan Ricketts. He played a lot of scout team for us last year and did an outstanding job and I could really see him contributing next year.

9) If you had to pick one moment in your CMU career that you were most
proud of, what would it be?

As far as an individual game, I would say the Iowa game. However, the overall proudest moment for me was finishing last season the way we did. We won the bowl game to get back on top of .500, sent the seniors out the right way and got this program heading back in the direction that it was going when it was handed to us when we first got here.

10) What was it like going into Iowa City last fall and getting the
upset win, especially given the way that you played and the way the
game ended?

It was great. It was one of those signature moments that the seniors really deserved. It was awesome that we were able to leave there with the win in the fashion that we did.

11) What does next year's group have to do in the offseason to build on
this year's success in 2013?

Make sure that they stay hungry. Don't let this little bit of success take them into a state of complacency because in the grand scheme of things, there is a lot of bigger and better things out there for them to accomplish. Just barely finishing over .500 should not be acceptable to them. However, I know the guys that we have and I don't see that being a problem.

12) If you could send any message to Chippewa fans, what would it be?

Just take pride in the Chips through the thick and thin, and support them all the way. We have an awesome fan base. I understand that when things are not going well, it is frustrating at times, but they still support the Chips. All in all though, in the five years that I have been with the Chippewas, our fans have been great. I want to thank them for being part of a great experience at CMU.

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