Elijah Fields was dismissed from the Pitt program last February for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. It was the final straw in a series of incidents that resulted in suspensions during Fields' Pitt career.
In his redshirt junior year at Pitt in 2009—his final year with the program—Fields had a breakthrough year playing in 12 of 13 games, finishing with 34 tackles and tying for the team lead with three interceptions for a team-best 59 yards.
He was expected to be major contributor in 2010, but that never happened because he was dismissed from the team. He was forced to look at other football opportunities. He tried at places such as North Alabama and locally and California (PA), but according to him because of some problems with transferring credits, neither was a possibility.
"I went down to North Alabama," Fields said. "They had a situation, where they take so many credits. I didn't pass the credit board. I hadn't seen anything from the NCAA that had said I was ineligible."
Fields then signed with an agent in November, and continued working out. After his junior year of 2009, he was projected as a third or fourth-round pick by many mock drafts. He has kept a daily workout routine in his days leading up to the Pitt Pro Day. Fields checked in at the Pro Day at 6-0, 216. He weighed in at 225 in his senior year at Pitt.
"It's a full day," Fields said. "I lift in the morning, take a break and come back; speed and agility kind of stuff. It takes up your whole day."
In addition to Pitt, Fields took part in a pro day at Duquesne. He ran a 4.5 on Duquesne's indoor surface, but according to him, they added a 0.1 to that time since it was on an indoor track, leaving him with a 4.6. At Pitt's Pro Day, he ran a 4.5. Also at Pitt, he finished with a 34-inch vertical, 16 bench press reps, a 10-6 broad jump, a 6.7 in the L-cone drill and a 4.2 in the shuttle.
Fields said he followed Pitt's 2010 season closely—a season he could have been a part of—and kept in touch with many Pitt players and coaches.
"I think about it a lot, every day," Fields said. "I went through a lot. I kind of put that stuff behind me; look forward, doing the right things, moving forward. I wish like heck I could have played this year, but things didn't go as planned."