Liberty Defensive Tackle Jibrille Fewell Showcases at College All Star Bowl

Following each college season many NFL Draft hopefuls earn the opportunity to go in front of scouts and coaches at All-Star Games to showcase their talents. For Liberty Defensive Tackle Jibrille Fewell, he just wanted to show that he can play with the best at the College All Star Bowl.

Fewell

Liberty Defensive Tackle Jibrille Fewell (Les Schofer/ Herald Online)

Following a senior season in which Fewell posted 32 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble, the defensive tackle from Rock Hill, South Carolina received an invitation to the College All Star Bowl. The College All Star Bowl finished it’s second annual game at Furman University this season, which features players who either played collegiate or high school football in the state of South Carolina. The rosters for the game included players from the automatic qualifying conferences, Division 1-AA and Division Two.

Jibrille Fewell was a heavily featured recruit following his junior season at South Pointe High School. After receiving scholarship offers from Maryland and Marshall, among others, Fewell saw these offers fall off the table following disciplinary reasons his senior year of high school. Then head coach at the time, Turner Gill of Buffalo, continued to recruit Fewell and Fewell committed to the school, but Fewell’s stay at Buffalo was a relatively short one. During his redshirt freshman season Fewell’s mother developed a heart problem. Fewell then moved back home to care for his mother, before transferring to Butte College in California. Following a 47 tackle, seven and half tackle for loss, and five sack season at Butte, Fewell again received offers to play division one football. This time, Fewell and Gill would reunite again at Liberty.

Fewell has battled through a lot of adversity and hardships to get to this point in his career. Including the problems his senior year and his mother’s health scare, Fewell had a health scare of his own. As a newborn Fewell developed a blood disorder, Hemolytic disease of the newborn. After a great deal of testing and procedures the doctors didn’t think Fewell would be able to make it, but he did, much like the other hardships he has overcome. “It’s been a real blessing from God. The situation God brought me out of early in my life, and the situation he has put me in now have been a blessing,” Fewell described of his opportunity to play in the College All Star Bowl.

Players arrived to Greenville, South Carolina for weigh-ins on Tuesday and hopes of having practice on Wednesday and Thursday, while the game would be played on Friday. Fewell weighed in at 6’3″ 304 lbs. while he was happy with his weight, Fewell said “You can always hope to be a few inches taller.” Unfortunately for players a snow storm cancelled practice Wednesday, and had teams only being able to fit a hour and ten minute practice in on Thursday. The shortened Thursday practice featured a 20 minute one-on-one session.

The one-on-one session matched Fewell up with centers Evan Swindall of Ole Miss and Macky MacPherson of Syracuse. Coming from the Big South, a much smaller conference in regards to the opposition’s, Fewell didn’t back away from the challenge. “I felt I did really good against these guys and won both reps. These are guys from some big time schools, but it gave me a lot of confidence knowing I stepped up against them,” said Fewell when talking about his performance in practice. Fewell also had the opportunity to work alongside a pair of Big Ten Defensive Tackles, Ronald Johnson of Minnesota and Tyler Hoover of Michigan State. “I learned a lot of different hand techniques from these guys, along with some different moves I picked up. It was cool, we all learned from each other,” as Fewell spoke about playing with a pair of Big Ten prospects.

Fewell and the American team lined up in a base 4-3 defense, common for all-star games which allow a basic look with no slants or movements at the line. Known for his ability as a three technique and shade one technique in Liberty’s 4-3 defense, a scheme change won’t scare Fewell at the next level. Fewell has experience in an odd front 3-4 defense while at Buffalo. Fewell even showed off his versatility towards the end of the game as he lined up at defensive end following injuries to teammates.

Though Fewell finished the game with just a tackle, he came away happy with his week’s performance and the opportunity he received. “The game was good. It’s hard in all-star games because everyone has to play, and once you’re in a grove, you have to come out. I wanted the dominating performance, but I’m walking away happy,” Fewell said in regards to his performance. The game was coached by a mix of former professional players and coaches, but Fewell spoke highly about his opportunities to work with former NFL scout Jeff Hoffman and former NFL star Brian Dawkins. Hoffman comes from a background of football which boasts 22 years of experience, while Dawkins is known for his play as a member Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles. “These guys know so much about the game and the business of the NFL. I could listen to Brian talk all day. What we learned from them about the league and what it’s like after was really great.”

Wanting to walk away with the dominating performance, Fewell did walk away proving what he came to prove the most, what school you played for doesn’t define your ability as a football player. “Just because your a small school player doesn’t mean you’re not a good player. I felt I showed I belonged and can play with any of these guys,” said Fewell when talking about coming from a Division 1-AA college.

As Fewell’s collegiate career came to an end last weekend, he is in hopes that his professional career was just starting. Having received interest from scouts of NFL teams following the week, Fewell now has attention on his March 4th Pro Day. Preparing in Buffalo, New York with Pro Performance and trainer John Opfer, Fewell is ready once again to prove his ability as a football player at his Pro Day.