Focused on South Carolina

CLEMSON - This time a year ago, Kyle Parker was buckling down for what proved to be a grueling schedule between spring football and baseball season.

One year, nine wins and 20 touchdown passes later, he's been allowed by head coach Dabo Swinney to focus primarily on baseball this go-round.

The quarterback/right fielder/designated hitter/first baseman is permitted to miss a few football practices and not required to attend all spring meetings, but expected to make up what's missed on the days he doesn't have class, or a conflict with baseball.

Swinney believes the lack of pressure on his end has allowed Parker to get off to such a hot start.

"He doesn't have Monday/Friday classes. Those are maybe going to be his catch up days where he can come watch film and catch up on things he misses, go over scripts and stay in tuned with the installation," Swinney said. "I've not made him be at the meetings. He's kind of done things. He's been all baseball. Maybe only 10 practices…even when he comes to practice, it's not going to be the same type of environment that he was in last year."

Through seven games on the diamond this season, Parker's leading the Tigers in batting average (.464), home runs (4) and second in RBIs with 10. Parker also leads in hits, slugging (.893) and on-base percentage (.531) and is tied for first with nine runs scored.

"I think last year, pretty much all of my attention and focus was towards winning a starting position in football. It's really not like that right now," he said. "I think my biggest concern is towards baseball, what I have to do to help these guys win and help this team be successful."

When Clemson's football team opens spring practice, Parker will be closing the three-site weekend series against South Carolina in Columbia. Making baseball the priority this spring was Parker's decision.

Jack Leggett said Parker continues to come to the diamond with the right mindset.

"He's got that instinct and savvy, where he's cool under pressure, able to handle pressure," Leggett said. "(Parker's) been going out there doing a nice job. I think his confidence is starting to roll."

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