There are a lot of Irish fans that are very anxious to see Rob Parris (6-4, 185-pounds) throw on an Irish uniform and enter Notre Dame stadium. He isn't certain he'll play a large role during the 2006 Notre Dame football season, but he's ready to get to campus and compete for playing time.
"I'm pretty open minded to the whole thing," Parris said of playing as a freshman. "The ideal spot would be the third or fourth [receiver] because then you'd be in on almost every series. I'm really not worrying about that right now. When the time comes and I go down there and compete then I'll start worrying about it. I'll just see how I compete. I really don't know where I stand with all the other receivers. I know there's a bunch of good ones though, so it will be tough to come out and get early playing time. I just have to go in and earn some time.
"I'm definitely excited," he added.
Parris is certain to become a fan favorite just based on what he endured during his senior year of high school. Most people were stunned that he returned so quickly from the dislocated hip suffered during football season and eventually play basketball. Then the unimaginable happened when he suffered a broken collarbone.
"During the game we had a fast-break Rudy [Kirbus] passed it to me," Parris described. "I went up for a dunk and this kid undercut me. I did a flip in the air and land right on my shoulder.
"The irony behind the whole thing is that we weren't supposed to play the game. It was a game that we rescheduled. We had play-offs in three days and the only thing that could happen by playing the game is that one of us would get hurt. Unfortunately it was me.
"I went to the doctor the other day. It's been about five weeks since I fractured it and you can't even tell that there is a fracture in the collarbone so it's healing up real clean," Parris explained. "It was a clean fracture. I just have to wait a few more weeks to do upper body lifting because it takes about seven weeks to fully recover when you fracture or break your collarbone.
"Both injuries were the best scenarios that could have happened out of a bad situation.
"I've been working about for about two weeks, all lower body and speed," he said. "I've been doing all the [Notre Dame] workouts that I've been able to do."
Rob and his teammate John Ryan will be attending Notre Dame this weekend to take in a practice. They will also attend the Notre Dame spring game.