CLEMSON -- Carl Parker drove home, surprisingly alert despite the later hour early Tuesday morning, running on fumes of blissful adrenaline.
A few hours earlier, his son, Kyle Parker, was drafted in the first round by Colorado, a million-dollar lottery ticket, though hardly blind luck as the father reflected on the toil, sweat and countless batting cage hours culminating in the selection.
Just a few hours earlier in Auburn, father witnessed son hit a three-run home run to help lift the Tigers to this weekend's Clemson Super Regional, performing well despite knowing the evening was a pivotal one in his life.
"How many good things can happen in one night?" said Carl Parker when reached on his cell phone.
Regarding the future of Clemson's two-sport star, the Parker Camp continues to keep its cards face down.
Asked if the first-round selection and the destination officially made Kyle Parker a baseball-only athlete -- the Rockies have a track record of paying and developing their own homegrown players -- Carl said simply: "Oh, gosh, what do you say?"
The former NFL wide receiver rerouted the conversation to the amazing night, the baseball team in need of two wins to advance the
College World Series.
The football card is an important one in the coming negotiations, allowing Parker considerable leverage after the Clemson baseball season.
The Rockies are confident they can sign Parker, whose camp has been curious of his potential when committed to one sport.
Rockies director of scouting Bill Schmidt told the Denver Post: "It was told to us that he would probably like to start (his professional career) in baseball."
Outside the Parker Camp, Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney figures to be the most interested party in the contract talks.
"Until he tells me he's not playing football, it's been my stand all along he'd be back," Swinney told reporters Tuesday.
"I still think he's a better football player. I think he has the ability to be a phenomenal quarterback, and ultimately he'll have to make the decision on what he truly wants to do. Obviously, finances are going to have a big part of the decision he has to make."
For the first time, Swinney began publicly entertaining Plan Bs.
"If he's not back, we've got Mike Wade, who's a guy that we as a staff have a lot of confidence in, and then we've got a freshman," Swinney said. "It's not good for your health when this is what you do for a living to have to live with freshman quarterbacks, but if we've got to go with a freshman, man, I'm ready to go with a guy like Tajh Boyd."
According to MLB analyst Peter Gammons, Swinney will not wait long on Parker's status.
"He's made it clear he's not going to August 15 (the baseball signing deadline) because he doesn't want Dabo Swinney hung up," Gammons said during Monday's draft telecast.
While many in Clemson Nation were giving up hope at retaining their freshman All-American quarterback, Gammons indicated the negotiations might result in considerable gridlock.
"There are huge signability issues," Gammons said. "He's got three more years of football eligibility and he's been told that he would be a second-, third- or fourth-round (NFL) pick. Now, that might be the football coaches telling him that because (Swinney) doesn't have a backup there. He is an important keep for Swinney.
"This is going to be a real tug-of-war."
Former Cleveland Indians general manager John Hart called Colorado an ideal landing spot for Parker during the telecast, and projected him as an above-average corner outfielder with 20-to-30 home run power.
"It's a tough organization, a straight-shooting organization," said Hart, who had Colorado GM Dan O'Dowd as an assistant in Cleveland. "(Parker) does have the power and he has been on the big stage. It will be interesting to see how it will all play out."
Gammons spoke with NFL evaluators who questioned Parker's football upside.
"I think one of the things, talking to NFL people, that they wonder about is how many heel-toe runners become really great, athletic quarterbacks," Gammons said. "He might be better geared to play baseball."
And if it plays out like the consensus believes it will -- with Parker going baseball exclusively -- Gammons offered Parker some advice:
"If he is going to sign and leave South Carolina, he better do it in the middle of the night."
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