With the Mustangs switching to a 3-4 defense, there is added pressure on the defensive tackle to be able to handle his own. He must be able to stuff the run with his solid base and be able to put pressure on the quarterback. He must be a player of all trades. Insert Chris Parham!
The senior played in five games last season and started eight times during his sophomore year. A thick 6-0, 288-pounds, Parham had an unbelievable spring that propelled him to 1st on the depth chart. The work that he has put in was highly praised by Coach June Jones during Conference-USA Media Day a few weeks ago. Jones told local media that the defensive tackle now has a shot to one day play on Sundays.
"It makes you feel good inside because your whole life you have this dream of playing in the NFL, but for a former NFL coach to tell you that is very promising," stated Parham to PonyStampede.com. "I haven't played a very much up to this point, so not playing a great deal has pushed me. I know I have the talent. I just have to show everyone else I do."
In 2006, his red-shirt freshman season, Parham notched three tackles in three games. It wasn't until 2007 that the Fort Worth native started to contribute on a regular basis. That season he recorded over 20 tackles and had 3.5 sacks in 8 starts.
A major area of concern coming into the season, the SMU defensive line is expected to be bigger and better than a year before. Joining Parham will be sophomore defensive end Taylor Thompson (6'6, 288-pounds) and junior college transfer Marquis Frazier (6'4 281-pounds).
"I have a lot of expectations from the d -line this year. We are big and strong built to rush the passer, but also strong enough to play the run. Those guys are young, but if they only see what I see from them, it's scary. They make my job a whole lot easier," said Parham.
The Mustangs allowed a league-worst 225 yards a game and five yards a carry last season. With the fact they are pulling one big body off the field in favor of the 3-4, if Chris Parham is going to play on Sundays one day, he needs to be big for SMU this year.