Don't forget about Wade

CLEMSON - It didn't take many Kyle Parker homeruns for Mike Wade to realize his final season at Clemson could end with him back at quarterback this fall.

Michael Wade has spent the majority of his Clemson career watching Cullen Harper, Willy Korn and Parker under center at quarterback.

After a red shirt freshman year in 2006, he actually played two games at safety in 2007 and began holding on field goals and extra-points.

He then moved back to quarterback in 2008 and has been there ever since. Last season he was a full-time special teamer, not only as the holder, but also as blocker on punt team and a coverage man on both kickoffs and punts.

"During the season, even during spring practice, I don't warm up (with quarterbacks). I just go out there and throw because those first three or four periods are special teams. I'm out there doing special teams the whole time and I just jump right in," he said. "I haven't really worked on my craft the past two years because I've been doing special teams. I just get out there and chuck it."

However with every Kyle Parker homerun this spring it became more and more apparent, Wade just might be playing more quarterback in the fall, and possibly even win the starting job if he can beat out heir apparent Tajh Boyd.

It started during spring practice when Wade spent more time at quarterback than he had in the past. Comfortable with where he was at learning the safety position, Wade spent more time at quarterback during spring drills and plays quarterback during the team's skills work.

He even spent time in the early part of summer working out with quarterback coach George Bobo, father of Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

After all, Wade did need to hone his original craft.

"When I got there, (Bobo) said the thing I need to work on his my feet," Wade said. "The release was fine, it was just my footwork and making sure I'm balanced."

With only seven snaps at quarterback during his Clemson career, Wade wanted to prepare himself for what would be a quarterback battle with Boyd, if Parker does not return to play football this fall.

With the baseball game on the radio, a movie on the TV and roommate/kicker Richard Jackson running the draft tracker on the Internet, Wade kept an eye and an ear on what transpired with Parker on Monday night.

"We'd talked to Kyle and he said a couple of teams were real interested and the Rockies were at the 26th pick. We paused the movie and turned on the draft. They said, ‘With the 26th pick, Kyle Parker.' We both kind of laughed," Wade said. "I guess I kind of said, ‘Alright, that's done. I don't have to worry about that anymore.' I could just worry about tomorrow, the skills and drills day, working out.

"I was proud as crap for him. For him to hit that homerun in the first inning, he's well deserving of all the praise he's got."

Though it's still unknown what route Parker will take, it doesn't stop the speculation of how the 2010 season would end up, with or without him.

Regardless of who's at quarterback, Wade's confident his final season in a Clemson uniform is setting up to be a good one.

"I think we have the players this year to where the quarterback doesn't necessarily have to be a playmaker," Wade said. "Our offensive line is going to be outstanding, so are our running backs and receivers. I think it's a matter of just running the ship. I think we can do that.

"It's not like we're donkeys. We can get it done. That's why we're here." Top Stories