Parish ready to be impact player

<P>Watching Freddie Parish on film, you notice that something extra. I am not sure what you call it but it's clearly there. I haven't spoken to Freddie in quite a while so I thought I would find out how his season is going and ask him if he is bringing his theme music with him to Notre Dame.</P>

I started the conversation telling Freddie I watched his film and how impressed I was by his film. "Which film did you watch?" I told Freddie it was junior year, the one with the theme music. "(laugh) Did you like it?" I told him I liked both his film and his theme music very much. Watching film of anyone from Long Beach Poly is always a treat. The athletes this team continues to produce is quite impressive. Freddie is clearly one of the very best athletes on their team. It's just a different level of football and they take it very seriously.

I asked Freddie how his season has been going for him. "I think it has been going pretty good. We are 8-1 right now with our only loss to De La Salle. That was a tough one but we are over it and playing well. I am not sure on my stats. I couldn't tell you how many tackles I have. I know I have two picks so far."

I asked Freddie where he has been playing this year. "I have been playing both strong safety and free safety. It just depends on the other team's strength. If they run well, I play strong. If they throw well, I play free. Sometimes you think they are going to throw and they decide to try to run on us so that can be frustrating."

Freddie has been keeping in contact with the Notre Dame coaches all year. "I talked to Coach Baer on Friday. He called to see how I was doing. I called coach Willingham last week and we talked for quite awhile. He has called me as well. I stay in touch with them quite a bit."

Freddie also said he has talked to Coach Baer and Walters about where they plan to play him. "They want me to start out at corner and see if I can get on the field my first year. They want me to stay the size that I am right now. I don't know if that is possible. I don't lift much at all right now. My Dad is a pretty big guy so I might end up growing out of the position. Once I start the general lifting, I will probably grow into a safety. I am 6-1 200 pounds right now so I am not sure where I will eventually end up." As long as it's on the field, Notre Dame fans will be happy.

Notre Dame fans don't get to really get to know the personalities of the assistant coaches so I thought I would ask Freddie what kind of guy Coach Walters is. After watching a lot of fall camp, I could tell Coach Walters in a real teacher as a coach. I asked Freddie to give us some insight. "Coach Walters is a real cool guy. He is pretty laid back. He is a real players coach. He tries to reach you on your level and I look forward to playing for him. He is just a real cool guy."

Freddie also mentioned that he might be attendind the banquent even though he has already made his official visit to Notre Dame. "We hope to be there for that. It all depends on the playoffs. We are hoping we have a bye that week but I am not sure. If we can make it, we will be there. I also want to go to the USC/Notre Dame game. I am not sure if I will have tickets for that or not but I hope I can make it."

Comments. I probably don't do a very good job of describing the personality or the football player in my updates on these players. I think it's more important once they are committed to get into that. I will do my best to put it into words. As a person, Freddie reminds me of a Deion Sanders. Before anyone goes overboard, let me explain. I am referring to the elder, more mature Sanders. Freddie has that smooth, winning personality and he has the confidence the great players have. He has that calming sense that everything is going to be just fine. He is just smooth and I bet he does well with the ladies.

As a player, Freddie reminds me of a mixture of Gerome Sapp, Abe Elam and Glenn Earl. He hits just as hard as Elam, has the athleticism of Earl (if not more) and has the mentality of Gerome Sapp. All three were/are fantastic players at Notre Dame. He has that stalking look on the field. Short quick steps and then explodes into the ball carrier or wide receiver. When defending a pass, he is fluid. A great back pedal and then the explosion to get there in time. Freddie has all the skills needed to play any of the 4 defensive back positions. Notre Dame fans are going to be very happy when Freddie hits the field. Top Stories