Reports: Kyle Parker Will Return to Quarterback Clemson Tigers
Former teammate C.J. Spiller also posted the following on his Twitter account late Tuesday night: "I'm glad my boy KP decided to stay another year, now my Clemson folks can be at easy and not worry about the season."
In an e-mail sent by Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret early Wednesday morning, Bourret said Parker had informed coach Dabo Swinney of a decision, but that Parker wished to save an official announcement regarding his plans for sometime Wednesday.
Parker dominated on the diamond and was chosen in the first round of MLB's amateur draft following a redshirt freshman season in which he led the football Tigers to their first ACC Championship Game.
The Rockies surprised many by grabbing him in the first round, and in turn Parker would stun many more if he returns to football for at least another season. According to TheClemsonInsider.com, Parker and his family had set a July 20th deadline in which to either negotiate a baseball-only contract or return to play football while still negotiating with the Rockies.
If the reports are accurate, Parker's decision now creates the possibility that he could retain his amateur status and play for the Tigers' baseball squad. He bashed 20 home runs for Clemson last season, vaulting his status as an elite baseball prospect.
If Parker had committed to the Rockies, Clemson would have been extremely thin at quarterback with just redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd and senior Michael Wade as significant possibilities. Boyd was highly recruited but is young and young quarterbacks are headaches until proven otherwise. That said, Parker shrugged off his youth in stabilizing the Tigers' offense last year and is expected to carry them now that all-world back C.J. Spiller has departed.
Long-term, Parker's best pro chances probably remain with baseball, as there just aren't that many pro quarterbacks who succeed at just 6-foot-1, his official height according to Clemson. Coach Swinney thinks otherwise, telling the AP last month, "This kid has great talent as a quarterback, I know that's a selfish thing for me to say but I know he could go right into that league and be a pro as well."
Take that with a huge grain of salt, but a dominant sophomore season could change minds and perhaps elevate him into the already energized discussion surrounding elite passers such as Washington's Jake Locker and Stanford's Andrew Luck. They, too, don't quite fit the established NFL prototype of a 6-foot-5, 230-pound giant behind the pocket, so there's hope yet.