By Staff Report.
Clemson, SC—Kyle Parker, the only athlete in Division I college sports history to throw 20 touchdown passes on the gridiron and hit 20 home runs on the baseball diamond in the same academic year, announced Wednesday that he will return to Clemson to play football for the 2010 season.
“I am excited about this decision,” said Parker. “I am ready to get back to Clemson, work out with my football teammates and coaches and get ready for the season. The closer you get to football season the more you think about playing in Death Valley, running down the hill and being a part of the Clemson football tradition.
“I want to thank Coach Swinney for his patience in this process. I thought it was important to make a decision about football at this time to be fair to Coach (Dabo) Swinney and the team.
“I was in a situation where I couldn’t make a bad decision. All my options are still on the table at this point. The only option I have ruled out is playing baseball exclusively for the Colorado Rockies right now. Negotiations will continue with the Rockies, but I will play football at Clemson this fall.”
Parker was the starting quarterback on Clemson’s football team that won the Atlantic Division championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference and finished 24th in the final AP poll with a 9-5 record. He was the starting right fielder on the Clemson baseball team that won the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference and advanced to the Final Four of the 2010 College World Series.
Parker was the first Clemson football-baseball athlete to start for two top 25 football-baseball teams in the same year since 1986-87 when Bill Spiers was the starting punter for the Clemson football team and the starting shortstop for the Clemson baseball team.
On the gridiron, Parker completed 205 of 369 passes for 2526 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2009. He established Clemson freshman records in all of those categories and the 20 touchdown passes rank fourth best in Clemson history. He had a streak of seven straight games with a touchdown pass, a school record.
Parker quarterbacked Clemson to nine wins last year, tied for first in the nation among freshmen and the most wins by a freshman quarterback in school history. He was named a second-team freshman All-American by collegefootballnews.com.
His top game on the gridiron last fall took place at Miami (FL) when he guided the Tigers to a 40-37 overtime victory over the eighth-ranked team in the nation. He completed 25-37 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime to Jacoby Ford. Parker is the only freshman quarterback in school history to lead the program to victory against a top 10 team on the road.
Parker was a first-round draft choice of the Colorado Rockies in June, the 26th overall selection. He batted .344 this season with a team best 20 home runs and 64 RBIs. He was also fifth in the nation in runs scored with 85. He was named an All-American by various services, including a first-team selection by Ping!Baseball, second-team by Baseball America and NCBWA, and third team by the ABCA.
Parker was a two-time first-team All-ACC selection (2008-10) and a four-time ACC Player of the Week, third most selections in Clemson history. He has hit 46 home runs in his Clemson career, eighth best in school history. He reached 25 home runs in his first 103 games, the fewest games required to reach 25 home runs in Clemson history.