Welcome back, Parker

CLEMSON – Hoping for the best but expecting otherwise, Dwayne Allen, like most of his teammates, didn't expect Kyle Parker to be back in 2010.

Then the nearly impossible happened early Wednesday morning.

Allen, a red shirt sophomore tight end, heard the news from Xavier Brewer when the two got together for a work-out that morning. That's when Brewer, a cornerback who played high school ball with Parker at Bartram Trail High School, asked Allen if he heard about Parker's return to the Clemson football team.

"It choked me up. I'm not going to lie," Allen said. "I was up (Tuesday) night. Nothing had happened, so I went to sleep. I woke up (Wednesday) morning and it wasn't on my mind. I went to run and Xavier hit me with that.

"I stopped the treadmill, backed up and was just in shock…that's big. I was excited. That news really did make my summer."

Red shirt junior offensive tackle Landon Walker was just as happy.

"I pretty much had a smile on my face all day," he said. "It's a great thing that he's coming back."

Before the decision was made, Walker put in an encouraging phone call in to his quarterback, wishing him the best, no matter what happened.

"In my mind, I thought about what I would have done. I thought he would be gone," Walker said.

Red shirt sophomore center Dalton Freeman admitted that he wasn't as sure.

"It was definitely a blessing to wake up this morning and have about 8,000 texts on your phone saying you've got your quarterback coming back."

Now, less than two weeks before camp opens on Aug. 3, there's a lot more continuity to the offense.

"It's hard to replace 14 games experience," Freeman said. "But, at the same time, we were prepared to do whatever we had to do."

Parker's return prevents another start to the season like 2009, when Clemson started the season with a quarterback that had not thrown a pass at the collegiate level.

Senior wide receiver Xavier Dye is glad that's not the case.

"We can just add on to where we were last year and keep on rolling…it's easy for us to pick up where we left off and not having to start back over and rebuild a little bit," he said.

The expectations for his senior remain the same for safety DeAndre McDaniel.

"We're pretty glad he's back. It's just more experience at a big position," he said.


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