Thanks in part to his pass rushing, Marist captured a share of the Pioneer League title for the first time in 2013 with an 8-3 record that represented its highest win total in 36 years.
Now, Fede has become the first player from the school ever drafted by an NFL team. The Dolphins made that happen when they selected the 6-foot-3, 276-pound defensive end with their seventh-round choice, the 234th overall.
“Oh yeah, oh yeah, I just made history at Marist College,” Fede said in a conference call. “We’ve been making history all year. As a team we won our first Pioneer championship. I set out a goal to be the first-ever player drafted in Marist history. Today that happened. It means a lot to my family back at home and the people up at Marist. This is a big day for Marist College and we just made history for Marist College.”
A second-team FCS All-American selection, Marist set a school record with 13 sacks in 2013, giving him a school-record 30.5 for his career.
Fede finished sixth in 2013 in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the best small-school defensive player in the country.
Fede visited the Dolphins before the draft as one of their non-local prospect visits.
“Ever since I stepped foot into those doors they showed me love and I really appreciated the love that they got me,” Fede said. “They made me very comfortable when I was inside the facility. I wanted to be a Dolphins right then and there.”
Another first for Marist came last year when wide receiver
Fede’s NFL dream overcame a big obstacle after he sat out the entire 2010 because of a suspension for violating team rules.
In his conference call Saturday, Fede said he actually benefited from the suspension.
“I didn’t have any problems coming back to football,” said Fede, whose parents are Haitian and who speaks Creole. “I’ve been playing football ever since I was a young child at 9 years old. Football is second nature to me. Once I was able to get back, I just went from there and I just skyrocketed and kept producing and trying to help my team win.
“It was a wake-up call to me. Me not having football for the first time in like 10 years, that just hurt me. It made me think about how much I really love football, me being away from the game so long. It wasn’t healthy for me. It also allowed me time to think and get better at my craft. When I was back home, I was actually training and getting ready to come back with a bang.”
That’s just what Fede did.