A relaxed Kyle Parker meets with the media, talks about upcoming season

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Kyle Parker said he told Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney that he didn’t return to Clemson to lose football games – that if he is here, then he is in it to win it.

Parker, the redshirt sophomore quarterback who announced that he would forego being baseball-only, at least for now after the Colorado Rockies didn’t meet the Parkers’ July 20th deadline to have a deal done, met with the media at the West End Zone on Tuesday in his first public appearance since the announcement last week, and he looked relaxed and at peace with his decision.

Early in the press conference, he was told that tight end Dwayne Allen had said he was on the treadmill when he heard the news of Parker’s return, and he was so thrilled with the news he got emotional, and Parker promised more passes would go his friend's way.

“Aww, I didn’t mean to make him cry. I will throw him a few balls and make him feel better.”

Once the laughter died down, Parker said he was happy with his decision, and there would be no looking back.

"The biggest thing I want to say is that I love Clemson University," Parker said. “I’m ready to get back out on the field, support my returning teammates, and turn the page and just gear up for football."

Parker also quickly squelched any speculation that the Rockies could make a late push with a dollar amount that would cause to leave Clemson’s fall camp and head to the baseball diamond.

“Like I said, we’ve been honest with them. When the 20th came and went, there wasn't a chance I would leave and not play this fall," he said. "Now, we're just working on a deal that will allow me to play this fall and ultimately play baseball this spring.”

Parker threw for over 2,500 yards as a freshman in 2009, and the Clemson coaching staff worried that freshman Tajh Boyd would have to take over the reins of a team good enough to contend for an ACC title. Parker was asked if he could remember what Swinney’s reaction was on the morning of July 21, and he said that the head coach said “Hot damn!”

Parker said the August 16th deadline for negotiating with the Rockies is still in play, and he was asked if that would be a distraction for him or his teammates during fall camp.

"I'll have to make some decisions at that point again. I don't see it being too much of a distraction,” he said. “It'll be something we both agree on. I am just looking forward to getting that date out of the way and just going out and playing ball. I am not too big a fan of numbers – I just like to go out on the field and have a good time.”

Swinney has said repeatedly that he thinks Parker also has a chance to play in the NFL, and the young quarterback didn’t dismiss the notion that he would paying attention to what NFL scouts would have to say about him before the NFL draft next year.

“It’s tough to say, because I still have a lot to prove” he said. “The biggest thing for me would be getting drafted high enough in the NFL to override what the Rockies have invested in me. I think I could help out their organization. They wouldn't pick me in the first round if they didn't think that."

Parker concluded by saying that what he told Swinney is the truth – he came back to Clemson to win football games.

"I told coach Swinney we're going to win if I come back,” he said. “We're going to jump into this thing and go head first. We're going to try to go as hard as we can. We're going to try to prepare this team as best as we can and hopefully go have a successful season. The only way to make it fun around here is to win games. That's the ultimate goal."

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