The third-year sophomore quarterback of the Clemson football team, who was selected in the first-round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies in June, believes he's still got work to do before he's drafted to play professional football.
As a red-shirt freshman in 2009, Parker threw for over 2,526 yards and 20 touchdowns while leading Clemson to a 9-5 record, first-ever appearance in the ACC Championship and a Music City Bowl win.
"I still think there's a lot for me to prove to get a legitimate chance in the NFL," he said. "The biggest thing that I would have to see is getting drafted high enough in the NFL to override what the Rockies have invested in me. I still think that they think I could really help their organization and have a really good future there. They wouldn't pick me in the first round if they didn't think that ultimately.
"The biggest thing is I'm going to have to come out and have a pretty good year for that talk to start."
Parker's father Carl, who played in the NFL, has served as a confidant throughout negotiations with the Rockies.
"My dad's been in that type of environment, so he was prepared a pretty good bit for it," Parker said. "At the same hand, no one's really been in my situation before. No one's really had this much football left to play and get drafted and have the opportunity to go play baseball. It was pretty difficult. Ultimately we made a good decision. We're going to continue to try to make a wise decision and what I think is best for me and my career."
There are still a few unanswered questions about his professional sports career. In the past , Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said that he believes Parker could also have a future in the NFL.
Along with his bloodlines, Parker received quality tutelage during his prep career in Jacksonville, Fla., working with Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Carl Smith.
"The biggest thing when you start looking at the draft, baseball or football, there's a lot of things you can hear, but until it's done, you don't know for sure," Parker said. "I still think there's a whole lot I need to prove on the field. Hopefully it goes good for me and great for our team."
Early last Wednesday morning, reports surfaced that Parker would return for a second season as the Clemson quarterback, despite Colorado selecting him with the 26th-overall pick in the June baseball draft. Parker said he would return to play football in a statement through the university later that afternoon.
The goal is to have a deal to sign with the Rockies in place by the Aug. 16 deadline.
Could the NFL be in Parker's future?
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