Position for future Beav? Others lurking?

PERHAPS HE MIGHT run the fly sweep a la what James Rodgers did at OSU this year. Or he could roam the back 40, covering large swaths of green at free safety. Maybe the Canadian will do both -- or line up elsewhere. What position(s) future Beav Keynan Parker plays depends where he fits best but one thing's clear, he has serious speed. And are other schools still trying to catch his eye?

Keynan Parker (6-0, 183, 4.32), who verballed to Oregon State this week, racked up 2279 yards on 219 carries and 29 TDs this past season. He set the Canadian Youth Record last July in the 200-m with a blazing time of 21.44. He's been timed at 4.32 in the 40 on grass, and 4.28 on a track. He can, as they say, fly.

Still, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Parker, like all first year Beavers, will have an adjustment to make to playing Pac-10 level ball. He's also still learning the game of football, says one of his coaches. So perspective is needed and reasonable expectations -- and who would have ever thought THAT term would be applied to recruiting -- should be the watchwords here.

There will, as is the case for all rookies, be a learning curve.

That is not to say that Beaver fans shouldn't be excited about the prospects to come. Why? Because speed like the kind Parker has is rare.

IN PARKER, out of Burnaby, British Columbia, the Beavs landed a gem, says one of his coaches. One who on the gridiron will need polishing, but a gem nonetheless.

"He has just scratched the surface of his potential in terms of form and technique, and he's got some growth to do yet," said Bernie Kully, defensive coordinator at St. Thomas Moore and the guy who help guide Parker through the recruiting process . "...But the Beavers did a good job scouting. Since the Beavers have expressed some interest in him, some other schools have upped their interest."

Indeed. After Parker verballed to the Beavs, schools like Cal, Washington State, Virginia and Wake Forest all called, seeing if Parker was interested in coming down for a visit. Parker, already scheduled for an official to Cal this coming weekend, said he's solid with the Beavs. There will be no more official trips.

"No, I'm 100 percent," said Parker. "I'm not even talking to other schools anymore. They're calling, but I'm letting them know I'm 100 percent.

Also, Parker is used to the U.S. football rules in a way most Canadian footballers are not. British Columbia is the only province in Canada who plays American rules.

SO WHERE MIGHT Parker line up for the Beavers when he gets to Corvallis? Try six or seven potentially different positions on for size.

"Because I can play so many positions, they just want me to get on the field and give me the ball in as many ways as they can," said Parker. "They said I could play defense -- I could play free safety if I want, corner. But they want to get me doing James Rodgers' position, backing him up...I could come in at running back, and a little (bit of) receiver.

"Those are a couple of the things they said I could play."

Rodgers, an OSU wide receiver carried the ball 50 times last season for 586 yards -- including the 25-yard fly sweep for what turned out to be the winning touchdown in this year's double overtime Civil War. The fly sweep became a staple in the offensive attack for the Beavs this past season.

FOR GRIDIRON enthusiasts who wonder if Parker might be a 'track guy playing football', his bloodlines would indicate differently.

Keynan's father is James "Quick" Parker, who starred at Wake Forrest from 1976-79. An All-Conference All-American and winner of the Brian Piccolo Award, the elder Parker was Inducted into Wake's Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2001. His 26.5 sacks in 1984 remain an all-time CFL record, and he still rates fourth for most quarterback sacks in the regular season with a tally of 139.5.

Keynan Parker profile


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