NORMAL - Illinois State football coach Denver Johnson added some high-profile punch to his running game Monday with the addition Kansas State transfer Parrish Fisher to the 2007 Redbird roster.
Fisher, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back, spent the 2006 season rehabbing after suffering a knee injury but as a redshirt freshman in 2005 he played in nine games with one start under former Wildcats coach Bill Snyder. Fisher is currently enrolled in summer school at ISU and will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Redbirds.
"He's a big, strong, tough running back," Johnson said. "He had an injury that kind of got him out of the rotation at Kansas State. When you're in one of those really highly-competitive situations, once you fall out of the rotation you have a hard time getting back in there."
Johnson said Fisher has been cleared to play after undergoing knee surgery.
"The knee is 100 percent," Johnson said. "We don't have any reservations about the knee whatsoever."
Fisher, a native of Richardson, Texas, finished the 2005 season at Kansas State ranked second on the team in rushing with 289 yards on 48 carries. He rushed for a Kansas State freshman-record 169 yards on 21 attempts, including a 63-yard run, against North Texas.
"We were acutely aware of him coming out of high school," Johnson said. "Parrish was highly recruited coming out of the state of Texas. In fact, many believe he was the second-best back out of the state behind (former Oklahoma standout) Adrian Peterson."
Fisher lettered three years and was a two-year starter at J.J. Pearce High School. He was tabbed as the No. 24 running back in the nation by Rivals.com and he joined Peterson on the Texas Sports magazine's 2003 High School All-Class Super Team.
"He's a great kid with a great personality," Johnson said. "He will be a great addition for our team and add to the positive chemistry we've been able to create. We all have to be guarded about expecting too much from anybody too soon, but we're certainly excited about adding him to our squad."