CLEMSON -- While a myriad of options remain available to Kyle Parker, the Clemson quarterback said Thursday he is "99 percent sure" this will be his final season as Clemson's quarterback.
The contract Parker signed with Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies earlier this week allows him to pursue a number of different career tracks, but the sophomore indicated the most likely scenario is he will focus on a baseball-only path next year.
Still, Parker did not rule out a football future.
He will be eligible for the 2011 NFL draft, and his contract allows him to hypothetically play football through his senior season at Clemson. There are a number of complicating factors that make a stay at Clemson beyond this fall unlikely, such as completing academic requirements for eligibility, forfeiting bonus money and overlapping football and baseball schedules.
"I wouldn't be back playing (football) if I didn't think I was any good or there wasn't going to be a future for me," Parker said. "Is it going to outweigh my baseball future? I don't know yet.
"Hopefully I can sit back after this season and kind of look at it and make an evaluation."
An emotionally collected Da'Quan Bowers returned to practice Thursday, a little more than a week after the death of his father.
"It was a tough process because me and my father were so close," said the Clemson defensive end. "But the fans, my coaches and my teammates have been so supportive."
The team traveled to Bamberg last Friday for a visitation. "Nothing has ever touched my heart like that," Bowers said.
It's been a difficult year for Bowers. He was close with former Clemson star Gaines Adams, who died in the spring. And a week after his father died, Bowers lost Eric Bamberg, whom he called "his mentor."
"Those three guys will be sitting together with the best seats in the house," Bowers aid. "This season is dedicated to them."