Tigers' Parker showing no ill effects from layoff
CLEMSON -- Kyle Parker was throwing the ball so well during Wednesday's practice, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told the sophomore quarterback he looked like Minnesota Vikings great Fran Tarkenton.
Parker's reply: "Who's that?"
Swinney then compared Parker to Joe Theismann, another undersized former NFL quarterback. Perplexed, Parker said "the (television) announcer?"
While Parker might need a history tutor, the sophomore quarterback is showing no ill effects after refraining from football activities from April until August.
Parker and backup Tajh Boyd each had excellent days throwing the football Wednesday. Parker completed 9 of 18 throws for 114 yards in Tuesday's scrimmage. Each quarterback rushed for a touchdown.
"I was impressed with the passing game," Swinney said. "We worked on that a lot, and both Kyle Parker and Tajh Boyd were sharp. I asked them what they had for breakfast because they need to keep eating the same thing.
"I thought they were outstanding. They both had good zip on the ball."
In a recent edition of The Sporting News, the magazine ranked Parker as the second-best sophomore quarterback in the country behind Stanford's Andrew Luck. The magazine quoted an anonymous NFL scout, who raved about Parker's abilities saying: "I love that he stands tall in pocket strides and delivers. There's no wasted motion and it's a quick release."
Parker will be eligible for the 2011 NFL draft. Parker has until Aug. 16 to sign a contract with the Colorado Rockies, who selected him in the first round in June.
One area where former Clemson coach Danny Ford told The Post and Courier the Tigers can improve is at protecting their home turf.
National pundit Phil Steele calculated that Clemson had the 30th best home winning percentage the last decade, owning a 50-17 record (74.6 percent). Boise State was No. 1 at 63-2, while Virginia Tech was the best ACC team at eighth overall (57-10). Steele ranks Memorial Stadium as offering the 25th-best homefield advantage, and ranks Williams-Brice as the 40th most difficult stadium to play in.
Clemson All-American safety DeAndre McDaniel missed Wednesday's practice with a hip bruise, but the senior is OK and is expected to quickly return to practice. McDaniel suffered the injury Tuesday.
Team to support Bowers
Swinney said approximately 70 Tigers will attend the funeral of Da'Quan Bowers' father on Saturday in Bamberg. The team will also hold its second scrimmage of the summer Saturday.
Bowers' father, Dennis, died last weekend. Da'Quan is not expected to rejoin the team this week as he mourns the loss with his family. Bowers was named to the Hendricks watch list Wednesday, which is awarded to the nation's top defensive end.