Colin Parker adjusting from ASU to NFL
And Parker is fashioning a beard that would impress San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson.
"It's been like two months, it's nice," Parker said following his first full training camp practice as an NFL player Thursday. "I'm going to let it go at least to the end of camp, and if I like it, I'll keep it. If not, I'll take it off, but it lets me lazy through camp at least."
Facial landscaping is the only way an undrafted rookie can display laziness during training camp if he hopes to make the team. Getting comfortable quickly is also key, and Parker feels pretty at ease with what's been presented so far.
"I feel pretty comfortable. We got a lot of work in during the OTAs and mini-camps over summer, so I at least got exposed to most of the defense," Parker said. "Coming out here, I just have to get adjusted to the speed and the physicality of the game."
Heading into the 2011 college season, not many thought that Parker would be headed to the NFL. The Chandler Hamilton High School alum had started only five games in his first three seasons at ASU. But as a senior, Parker was a defensive stalwart for the Sun Devils, starting all 13 games and racking up a career-high 75 tackles. It was good enough to gain All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
"Before my senior year I knew, depending on how my season went, I had a shot," he said. "I played well my whole year and coming towards the end of the year I thought I might have a shot. As it progressed in the offseason, I could tell I would get some interest."
Although Parker is done wearing the Sun Devil pitchfork, he still stays attentive to what's happening with his former team amid the transition led by new head coach Todd Graham.
"I'm trying to stay close and on top of it, I try to keep up with some of my friends that are still there," Parker said. "But at the same time it's hard -- I've got my own stuff going on even though it's only ten to fifteen minutes away.
"I'm excited to see how they do this year and how the quarterback battle shakes out. I think they're going to do well this year."
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