Cody Nespor: Zach Frazier's humility was on full display at the NFL Combine

Mar. 6—The bright lights of the NFL Combine certainly didn't go to Zach Frazier's head.

Not that we ever thought they would.

Despite being limited while recovering from a broken leg, the West Virginia center was at the NFL Scouting Combine this week to do position drills, test in the bench press, meet with teams and have a press conference with national media.

It was during that nine-minute meeting with reporters on Saturday that Frazier demonstrated what I believe is his defining trait as a high-level athlete. It's not his strength, toughness, technique or intellect, all of which are exceptional, but what has always stood out to me about Frazier is his unwavering humility.

Something us reporters here in Morgantown know well—and something the reporters in Indianapolis learned over those nine minutes—is it's very, very difficult to get Frazier to talk about himself.

Ask about something great he did, and he'll give credit to others. Ask what his greatest strengths are, and he'll tell you where he needs to improve. Ask about his experience at the combine, and he'll tell you about his teammates who should've been there, too.

And try as we might, us reporters will never get Frazier to admit just how good he really is.

Frazier gained some notoriety at the end of last season when he crawled off the field after breaking his leg at Baylor to save time as the Mountaineers were embarking on a last-minute, game-winning drive.

One of the first questions posed to Frazier at the combine was about that moment. Instead of taking any time to pat himself on the back for what he did, Frazier immediately brought up backup center Brandon Yates, who came in and had "four perfect snaps " to end the game.

"In the moment, I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team out, " Frazier said. "I feel like I maybe gave them a chance to win, but those guys that came in executed on the last four plays and did a great job."

After a few questions about teams he had met with, someone asked Frazier if there is anything specific he's trying to improve as he transitions to the NFL.

"I'm pretty hard on myself ; I don't feel like I do anything perfect, " Frazier said after thinking for a second. "It can always be better whether it's my hands, pad level, footwork—I could improve in every area."

You wouldn't know from talking to Frazier that he was named first-team All-Big 12 and an All-American after last season and is projected to be taken in the first two rounds of this year's NFL Draft.

Near the end of the press conference, one reporter brought up how WVU cornerback Beanie Bishop said playing at WVU felt special and asked Frazier for his perspective on it.

Immediately upon hearing Bishop's name, Frazier made sure to say that he wasn't the only Mountaineer who deserved to be at the combine.

"I feel like Beanie and (offensive tackle) Doug Nester should be here, " Frazier said immediately.

Like Frazier, Bishop and Nester have NFL aspirations. Both were invited to the East-West Shrine Bowl but weren't invited to the combine.

"Beanie, he had a great season, Doug too, " Frazier continued. "I feel like they should both be here."

I'm not using this space to insinuate that Frazier is the first high-level athlete to ever be humble, or even that he was the only player at the combine to display humility. But what has always stood out to me about Frazier is how transparently genuine he always seems.

I'm guessing Frazier isn't a very good poker player ; his face usually tells the entire story of how he's feeling. Anytime Frazier is asked to talk about himself, a sheepish grin appears on his face.

You can tell it makes him uncomfortable, almost like he's embarrassed that everyone's making such a big fuss over a kid from Fairmont.

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