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Former Sun Devils continue football careers close to home

Their trip to the Cardinals complex isn’t a long one —
just 10 miles from where they played their college ball.

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.”