Parker better on Tuesday, admits football past this season is possibility

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Parker is glad his body as a week to recuperate
Parker is glad his body as a week to recuperate

CLEMSON – Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret told the media on Tuesday that the interview session with the quarterback was over, and did it in a way that drew a few laughs.

“Ok, the interview with Kyle is over because we gotta get him to the hospital,” Bourret told the 20-plus media members in attendance.

Of course, Bourret was referring to the trip that the Clemson football team was taking to the Shiners Hospital in Greenville. However, after the beating that Parker took on Saturday night at Auburn, it could very well have been about admitting Parker.

Parker said he was still feeling the effects of the pounding he took at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“I feel pretty good, just still kind of sore,” Parker said. “I’m happy that we have a bye week. I’m feeling kind of like you would expect to after that type of game. I’m trying to do everything I can to get my body feeling right. I think the biggest thing is that I may feel fine now, but how is my body going to feel after I take a couple of hits? We’re not really trying to overdo it.”

The sophomore signal caller admitted that this was the worst he has ever felt after a football game.

“It’s tough - I’ve never had pain like that, which I’ve felt for a substantial time during the game like I felt as on Saturday,” he said. “I kind of let our guys know that someone else was going to have to make a play. It’s going to be tough for me to go out there. I’m going to do my best to put everyone in the best situation, but we are going to have to step up and get it done as a unit.”

ESPN cameras focused in on Parker after a third quarter hit to the back, and many wondered whether he could come back and play, but he said that leaving the game wasn’t an option.

“My body felt like it couldn’t keep going,” he said. “I knew especially with the game where it was, there wasn’t really an option of me coming out. It didn’t feel like there was anything broken or punctured. With that being said, I was just like, ‘alright, let’s do it.’ “

He then said he doesn’t remember too much about the aftermath of the game, the pain, or even the bus ride home.

“Well, I don’t know, the pain medicine they gave me kind of knocked that one out. But when it wore off I wasn’t feeling too good. But that’s [the hit to the back] that did it. I’ve been hit numerous times, and I could get up from those. I got smoked on that one, and then getting hit after that didn’t help either.”

Despite the beating he took on Saturday and the opportunity he has to play professional baseball, Parker said he wouldn’t change any of his decisions, and didn’t rule out the possibility of playing football past this season.

“I came back to play and compete,” he said. “I wanted to see where football leads me. I’m not counting out the possibility of playing football in the future. To go out there and quit and give up really sends a message and as a competitor, that’s not how I was raised or how I’m programmed. I wanted to go out there and give our team the best chance to win.”

He was asked if he learned anything about the character of his team on Saturday, and he said he did.

“The biggest thing is that a lot of guys that really haven’t made a lot of plays came out there, and even if they didn’t make plays with the ball, they were playing fast, lining up in the right spots, and getting on the right guys,” he said. “To be able to do that against a quality opponent is big considering we really haven’t played anyone and those guys really haven’t played in that type of environment.

“So to see them go out there and really compete against a quality opponent, feels good for us. Hopefully, they can just learn off that and keep playing like that for the rest of the season. But I’ve never been one on moral victories. I’d rather not get tackled at all and hand it off 50 times- I don’t care. With that being said, we went out there in a hostile environment and didn’t have a lot of the mental penalties that you see a lot of teams do their on the road, playing in front of all those fans. I thought we went out there and executed our plan. I think there are still a lot of things we can improve on.”

One thing the Tigers learned, especially on offense, was that Swinney’s goal of Clemson becoming a more physical team is coming to fruition.

“I think we are really physical up front,” Parker said. “If you watch the film from the Auburn game, we played really physical. That’s a good thing to be able say. The biggest thing we are telling them is that you have to play like that every game. I thought we ran the ball really well, and that’s what we needed to do especially because a lot of our playmakers that caught the ball aren’t back. So this really made the transition into those other guys catching the ball a little easier. I think throughout the year, if we are able to run the ball like that, skill guys, especially outside, will step up and make plays, and we’ll be set on offense.”

Clemson had a chance to win the game in overtime, but Parker’s pass to receiver Jaron Brown floated just out his reach, and Parker took the blame for the misfire.

“It’s definitely my fault,” he said. “I could’ve made it a little easier on him, and it’s one that you’d like to have back. When you look at it, it’s tough to single out one play. “There are a lot of things we could’ve done to not get ourselves in that situation. “No excuses.” I know I was hurting, and I probably could have made that throw, it’s my fault. I know I probably could’ve put him in a better situation to make a play.”

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