Freddie Parish reported to Notre Dame after finishing his high school career at one of the most prominent schools known for high school football in the country--Long Beach Poly. Poly regularly sends a host of players to division I schools every year. Parish has played a high level of football already and should develop into a star and fan-favorite at Notre Dame.
Parish is lined up at strong safety this year and Parish says the adjustment to the college game has been difficult so far. "It's a big adjustment coming from high school," said Parish. "Learning plays and the plays are more advanced than I'm used to. It took a little time but I really feel that the past couple of days that it's kind of been clicking for me. I'm really happy about that and I need to continue to study my playbook and hopefully everything will work out well."
Most freshmen get lost early in their career with the adjustment one needs to make from playing high school football to college football. Parish says that he's starting to make that adjustment. "I'm starting to see it out there but before it was kind of like circles. I'm finally starting to see the people, where I'm supposed to go and the adjustments I'm supposed to make."
Parish and his coach Trent Walters had a friendly exchange of barbs as Walters was leaving the room after being interviewed. Parish says Coach Walters has got on him a few times but is really helping him on the field. "Coach Walters, he'll definitely get on you but it's for the best. If you just take it as he's trying to help you and work with you and make sure get your best opportunity possible then it will really do better for you rather than taking it personally."
Not many freshmen get to play their first year but Freddie says that Walters has already spoken to him about getting ready to play this year. "He tells me that it's basically up to me. The more I learn the plays, the more I'm productive on the field and the more I'm able to make the call I'm supposed to make, the more I'll be able to get on the field. He expects me to play this year, he told me against Washington State so the time is really up to me. If I work hard then hopefully it will be good for me."
The playbook has been the biggest adjustment according to Parish. He says that in high school their defense wasn't this advanced. "Learning the plays, plays are a real big deal," said Parish when asked what the biggest adjustment has been. "In high school it's basically cover two, cover three, man and over here there's a lot to learn. I am really willing to step up to the challenge so I'm excited."
Parish says he's just going to play his game and hopefully good things happen. He's a physical player but he says he needs to understand the defense before his skills can really start to show. "I just have to come strong really. I always try to come pretty hard. Hitting-wise it hasn't been too big of an adjustment but the speed of the game, definitely is a little bit different. If you know where you are supposed to be at then it's not that difficult. I'm not going to say it's that same but the adjustment isn't that big. You just have to know where to be at a certain time--what reads to make. Here you read a cover tight end—in high school you just watch the quarterback, you drop back, you're pretty advanced if you can read the uncovered linemen."
Parish is known as a player that plays with attitude. He's a talker on the field but he says he hasn't been doing any talking just yet. "I feel that I haven't earned the right to talk too much on the field. In high school you could talk on the field because you feel that you're running everything but I'm really learning right now. I need to learn my plays before I can open my mouth. When they're all learned, trust me, some stuff will be said."
Irish Eyes has been a big Freddie Parish fan since his commitment to Notre Dame. He's colorful, out-spoken and a joy to talk to. He will certainly talk on the field and bring some attitude out on the field but he will back it up with his play. We expect Parish to be a fan-favorite during his career at Notre Dame and we also expect to see a lot of Freddie Parish on the field—maybe as soon as Washington State.