Parker speaks out about draft and future

by - Senior Writer -
Parker is the first ACC athlete to play on a Division champion in football and baseball in the same year. (Photos: fotoman)

CLEMSON – Kyle Parker met with the media in the dugout at Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium before Wednesday’s practice, and he looked and sounded as relaxed as he has been in weeks.

Perhaps the pressure is finally off after having been selected by the Colorado Rockies in the first round [26th overall pick] of the major league amateur draft on Monday.

However, Parker said that for right now, he is just concentrating on the Super Regional in which Clemson hosts Alabama this weekend, and advancing to the College World Series.

“It’s been a little hectic the last couple of days, but on the same point, a lot of good things have happened and I’m happy with it,” Parker said. “I am happy to be playing here. There are still a lot of things to figure out, but the pressure is off and this is a good time to go and play.

“There would have been more pressure if I had been selected in the third round or late in the second round, but being selected with such a high pick makes me feel easier about the situation. I am just happy to have been picked that early and that means a lot to me. I feel blessed and happy.”

Parker was asked repeatedly if football even figures into the equation at this point, and he sounded like someone who really wants to just try baseball.

“It’s tough to say, but the biggest thing is I came to college and wanted to play a professional sport,” Parker said. “If I ended up focusing on just one, I would be happy. I pretty much just have to sit down and figure all of that out.”

Parker said he spoke with Rockies General Manager Dan O’Dowd on Tuesday, and that O’Dowd reassured him that he should just concentrate on Clemson baseball for now.

“We talked for about 15 minutes, and it was all good stuff,” Parker said. “He was saying that that they are excited about having me in the organization. But on the same note, he told me not to worry about the contract and stuff. He told me to just go out and play, because we aren’t talking about anything right now. This will be here.”

Parker was asked if he had an “ideal scenario” that could see him starting his professional baseball career and still coming back to play football in the fall, and he answered that it was a tough question to answer.

“It’s really tough to say,” he said. “When you get picked that high, you really don’t get that kind of opportunity to come your way a whole lot. It makes me think I could go to the major leagues soon. I just want to sign by the end of Summer I (which ends June 24th) or the beginning of Summer II (June 28th) just to be fair to Coach Swinney and the guys on the football team. “

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