On paper, Chase Edmonds, FCRH ’18, might not seem like an obvious NFL draft prospect. At 5 feet 9 inches, he’s small for a running back, and injuries prevented him from playing a full senior year, when scouts would have been watching him most closely.
But from the time he entered Fordham College at Rose Hill, the Pennsylvania native sought to put together a resume that would lead to a career in the pros. And what a resume it turned out to be, even with the missed time in his final season. Edmonds finished his Fordham career not only as the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards, touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns, but also as the Patriot League’s all-time leader in those categories as well.
Edmonds’ body of work didn’t go unnoticed; in April he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round of the NFL draft. It’s the highest a Ram had been taken in the draft since 1943 and the first time a Fordham player had been drafted since the Cardinals took quarterback John Skelton in the fifth round in 2010.
As Edmonds tells it, his doubters only served to motivate him.
“Always being considered undersized, it just brings out a chip on your shoulder,” he said. “I think there’s no better feeling than proving people wrong. I love it. I take pride in it.”
At Fordham, the accolades piled up. As a freshman in 2014, he won the Jerry Rice Award as the top NCAA Football Championship Subdivision rookie. The following year, he was named the Patriot League’s offensive player of the year. And in his junior year, he was a consensus first-team All-American and finished fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in the NCAA FCS. He finished his career with 5,862 career rushing yards, the fifth most in NCAA FCS history.
Edmonds continued to impress even after his Fordham career ended: At the annual NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year, he finished first among all running backs in two of seven events, and third in another.
In 2014, Edmonds got big news just days before his first Fordham training camp: He learned he was going to be a father. Now a dad to 3-year-old daughter Avery, he sees similarities to that life-changing period as he embarks on his pro career. “I didn’t have a lot of schools that liked me coming out of high school, but Fordham absolutely loved me and believed in my talents,” he said. “And though I struggled my senior year with injuries, Arizona still loved me, and they made that apparent when I went down to visit them.”
Added Edmonds, “You only need one team to like you, just like you only need one college to like you. Everything so far has panned out. Now I’ve got to put in the work, and continue to make it pan out.”
—Joe DeLessio, FCLC ’06