Fejedelem, 23, played defensive back as a freshman for the Cougars' 2011 NAIA national championship team. In fact, he tipped and then intercepted a pass in the end zone in the semifinal game to seal St. Xavier's trip to the championship.
A native of southwest suburban Lemont, Fejedelem also played the following year for the Cougars. That team finished 11-2 overall and qualified for the NAIA semifinals before losing to No. 3 ranked Morningside College (Iowa).
He then left Mount Greenwood to walk on at the University of Illinois. After sitting out a year per transfer rules, he eventually worked his way into a starting spot and as a senior he led the Big Ten in tackles — 23 ahead of the second-place finisher.
Fejedelem was drafted by the Bengals with the 24th pick in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL draft.
Listed as a safety, the overall No. 245 pick quickly got to work in an effort to make the team, and his unlikely path to the league was part of a lengthy profile piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“It’s always been how do I better myself, how do I continue to build on my success and just continue to increase my technique and be the best player I can be and help the Bengals win the Super Bowl this year. That’s the end goal,” he told the paper.
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