Former Sun Devils continue football careers close to home
Their goal to stay, however, may require a much longer journey.
Former Arizona State Sun Devils Colin Parker and Eddie Elder are now NFL players.
Parker, a graduate of Chandler Hamilton High School, signed with the hometown team as an undrafted rookie free agent, while Elder earned his contract following this past weekend's rookie mini camp.
"I think Arizona was the first team to contact my agent," said Elder. "It couldn't have worked any better because I'm already here."
Elder was among 16 players the Cardinals brought in for a tryout, and one of only four the team signed.
Parker was among 16 players the Cardinals signed immediately after the NFL Draft.
"I felt like I dealt with (camp) pretty well," said Parker, who led ASU in tackles last season. "My biggest thing was my assignments and was I doing things correctly and was I learning stuff fast enough."
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff threw a lot of information at the players over three days and five practices.
"It makes your college stuff look really basic and elementary," said Parker of the complex coverages and defensive schemes. "It was something that we're going to have to get used to, but I think I picked it up pretty well for being out here for three days."
Elder, who played in all 25 games with 20 starts in two seasons at ASU, called the experience of being in an NFL camp a blessing.
"It's complex but at the same time if you study and get everything down then everything makes sense."
Both will put on the Cardinals uniform again next week when the team holds its first of what will be three weeks of voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) before mini camp in June.
"A lot of people don't get this opportunity," said Parker. "I'm hoping I can stick and stay home and get my career started here."
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