April 16, 2007

Parker on the recruiting trail for Clemson

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Jacksonville, Fla. - Bartram Trail quarterback Kyle Parker ended his recruiting very early in the process when he committed to Clemson in February. Since that time the 6-foot-1, 190-pound gunslinger has been on a mission to recruit two close friends, both highly coveted by the Tigers.

Parker, joined by his father and blue-chip teammate Xavier Brewer at Clemson on Saturday, took in the Tigers' annual Orange & White Game.

"I drove three-fourths of the way from Jacksonville on Friday night, stayed at a hotel, then drove the rest of the way Saturday morning," Parker told Tigerillustrated.com in a weekend interview. "We got in around 10:30 Saturday and hung out with coach (Dabo) Swinney."

Swinney, the recruiter of record for the talented QB who wowed the Clemson coaching staff during the Tommy Bowden Football Camp last summer, also is recruiting Brewer.

"I was telling Xavier about all the things I like about Clemson and why I decided to commit," Parker noted. "Xavier was impressed. This trip was more for Xavier to meet the coaching staff."

Brewer, a Rivals100 pick and one of the nation's top cover-corners, isn't the only prospect Harper has been in close correspondence with as of late.

Jacksonville - Trinity Christian running back Jamie Harper moved up on Clemson's recruiting board earlier this spring, landing a tender from the Orange & White. Swinney is recruiting the 6-foot, 205-pound burner, as well.

"I've known Jamie since I was eight-years old," Parker explained. "We've been on the same baseball teams since we were young. I know he has some more offers now, but I'm hoping he and Xavier come with me to Clemson. For us to be at Clemson together; that's the goal."

Parker said Harper was not able to attend the Orange & White scrimmage due to a commitment for an AAU Tournament, though Harper could be visiting Pickens County over the next several weeks.

Parker, one of two Clemson QB commits for 2008, has already been up to Clemson on a visit earlier this year. On Saturday he spent time with his future position coach.

"When I went up for the first spring practice (March 10) coach (Rob) Spence told me to hang around him," Parker entailed. "I grasp how he teaches quarterbacks. He wants me to come up for their camp again so that he can evaluate me some more and we can work together on a few things."

Parker told Tigerillustrated.com he aims to attend the Tigers' camp in June. The Elite 11 standout also said Spence plans to give him a portion of Clemson's playbook to digest later this year.

As far Parker's on evaluation of the Tigers' spring game, and the hotly contested battle at quarterback between true freshman Willy Korn and junior trigger man Cullen Harper?

"Willy impressed me. He threw a real good ball," Parker added. "He was patient and went through his progressions very well."

Parker said the highlight of his trip to Clemson Saturday was his experience with fans in orange.

"They are the best around. Xavier and I went up to the concession area and kids came up to us to get our autographs. People were yelling at us and for us. Their fans are just awesome," said the Sunshine State QB. "The whole trip was basically the highlight, but their fans are great. It's just a great fan base."

The Bartram Trail star, also a subscriber to Tigerillustrated.com, said he visits the officially licensed site of the Rivals.com network on a daily basis, and calls himself a "big Rivals.com fan."

Parker, who was branded by some onlookers as the top dog at Miami's Elite 11 Camp, is now making plans to participate in the Tallahassee, Fla. - Nike Camp event on April 22.

The highly visible Clemson pledge also is eying another possible venture, though upon arrival on the Division I-A level.

"I might play baseball, too," he said. "Ii don't want it to be where I'm so busy doing a little bit of both to where I don't realize my potential at one. But I am thinking about it."

Bartram Trail is currently ranked No. 4 in the state in its classification, boasting a 20-2 mark entering mid-April. Parker's contribution is no doubt a big reason why, as the multi-talented athlete is hitting a stellar .480 with five home runs and 30 runs batted in.

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