What A Catch!

University of Miami defensive back Antrel Rolle doesn't mind coming out to practice every day. Rolle isn't one to complain about all the condition drills in 90-degree temperature or the amount of passes he's asked to defend on a daily basis. That's if Roscoe Parrish isn't standing across the line of scrimmage from him.

"One-on-one I've gone up against him a few times and I'll be honest with you that's more than enough."

Rolle probably isn't alone.

After an impressive freshman season in which he played in all 13 games for the Hurricanes Parrish has picked up right where he left off this spring and filled a void at the injury-plagued wide receiver position. Parrish, who opened the spring behind Kevin Beard and Sinorice Moss on the depth chart, is making good on his off-season prediction that he would challenge for a starting role, no matter which player he had to beat out.

Parrish has enjoyed a stellar spring so far thanks to a weight training program that helped him add 10 pounds since the end of the 2002-03 season and plenty of late nights going over his route running. Aside from making one of the longest receptions during last Saturday's scrimmage, 12 yards, Parrish's new physique has not only allowed him to run by defensive backs but also run through some of them

And for the Hurricanes it couldn't have come at a better time.

With Beard, the projected starter at flanker, and Moss out nursing injuries, Parrish has flourished in a starting role opposite Jason Geathers. And the Hurricanes coaching staff, especially coach Larry Coker and wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson, is well aware of the 5-9, 166 pounder's progress.

"Roscoe's motor is always running and he's been just fantastic especially with our problems with injuries at the position. What makes him such a special player is his ability to make people miss. There not to many better than Roscoe at that."

Parrish, who finished sixth on the team in receptions last year with 19 and added 340 yards and two touchdowns, posses a rare combination of breakaway speed, good hands and a quick first step, reminding those close to the program of former UM receiver Santana Moss.

"Anytime you are compared with such a great player it's an honor but I'm just trying to fit in," said Parrish who had a career-high five catches for 70 yards in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State.

Parrish vows to continue to make the most of this opportunity while Beard remains sidelined. But even when Beard does return Parrish doesn't intend to go away quietly.

"I feel I can start for this team. I just have to keep proving myself," said Parrish.

Canes Time Top Stories