Parker staying even keel

CLEMSON - Things haven't quite played out the way Kyle Parker imagined when he announced last summer that he would return for another season of football.

Clemson is 4-4 (2-3 ACC) heading into Saturday's game versus No. 23 N.C. State (6-2, 3-1 ACC).

The Tigers' four losses—three of which were on the road—have been by a combined 23 points.

"It would be easy for us to shut it down and quit—just look at next season," said Parker, who will call an end to his Clemson football career at the conclusion of this season. "There's still a lot out there that we can accomplish. Whether it's what we wanted to at the beginning of the year or not, there are still things we need to do and can do to turn this thing around."

So far this season, it hasn't been smooth sailing for Parker either. The redshirt sophomore has completed 115 of 217 passes for 1,315 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions.

Against Boston College on Saturday, Parker threw two picks.

On Monday, it was announced that Tajh Boyd—the Tigers' quarterback of the future—would play in each of the final four games of the regular season.

Word of that news hasn't shaken Parker's confidence as Clemson's starting quarterback.

"What's been communicated to me is that I give this team the best chance to win," he said. "I take that as I'm still the guy and I need to do everything to get this offense and get these players. We're capable of winning.

"Obviously, I need to make some smarter decisions, at times. But, for the most part, what's being said to me is that I need to prepare, continue to put the work in and continue to try to make plays out there."

The ill sentiments from message boards and talk radio haven't gotten to him either. Although Parker is selective in what he chooses to read and hear, he is aware of what's out there.

"I'll continue to work hard," he said. "I think I have put in the work and tried to represent the program in the right way."

With four—maybe five, or possibly even six games left—Parker plans to enjoy the rest of the ride.

"I've learned a lot this season. I've enjoyed it and had a good time. Even though you look at the record, it really doesn't show what I would like it to," he said. "There are still four more games, four more weeks. With that being said, hopefully, possibly a bowl game, which we're definitely working hard for.

"I think there's still a lot to enjoy and a lot of things I can bring to this program." Top Stories