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Parker felt comfortable with Tigers

6/5/2012

Kyrion Parker finally had the chance to show off his skill set Monday at LSU's June football camp.

The opportunity is obviously one the Manvel, Texas, product made the most of, as he zigged and zagged his way through routes, snagging balls in a standout performance among the camp's dozens of wide receivers. The day wound up being a memorable one, with Parker joining the Tigers' recruiting class as commitment No. 15 for 2013.

"I got a lot of feedback, just saying that I did good in all of the drills," Parker said. "They were just giving me a lot of credit about how I did."

All of that is well and good. But for Parker, as he reflected on his decision, the thing that stood out the most was the Tigers' faith in him. Monday was the junior's first-ever visit to Baton Rouge, and yet he already held a scholarship offer when he arrived on campus. He said that the program's faith in him made it easier to make his commitment. The Tigers were one of the first teams to offer Parker a scholarship, and they did it despite a shelved junior season that saw him break his collar bone after one game.

"They believed in me when no one else did, without having any film or anything after I broke my collar bone last year -- that just says a lot," Parker said.

Of course, there were also some familiar concerns to be addressed before Parker pledged his future to LSU. Like every one else in the country, he saw the Tigers' struggles at the quarterback position in 2011. As has become the narrative since January's BCS championship game, Parker said the LSU coaching staff assured him the passing game would pick up in time for his arrival on campus, led by junior quarterback Zach Mettenberger this fall.

"I just wanted to talk to them and see if they're going to be passing the ball next year when I come in," Parker said. "They said they were, so I'll have to watch this year."

Parker said a big key to his decision was his relationships with his recruiters: LSU wide receivers coach Adam Henry and special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. The pair's experience in the NFL is something Parker weighed, as well.

"They're really great guys -- really down to earth," he said. "They get the best out of their players, and they really help their players out. And they have great experience -- they've been in the (NFL) and they know what it takes."

That comfort level helped Parker make a decision slightly sooner than he expected to. He said his original plan was to have "somewhere in mind" by the start of his senior season, but his comfort with LSU prompted him to pull the trigger early. Parker was only on campus for the day, but he said he saw enough during the trip -- although he may come back before the start of the season.

"I liked the facilities a lot, and the campus is awesome. I just love their program a lot -- they have a great program," he said.

Of course, Parker may want to familiarize himself a bit more with LSU's traditions before he returns to Baton Rouge. After a whirlwind trip, he had a bit of trouble keeping some things straight.

"I saw Mike the lion where he stays -- I mean the tiger," he said with a laugh.

That part should be easy, however. Parker said if he can stay focused through the season, he should be just fine.

"I'm just looking forward to the regular season," he said. "I've got to keep grinding and just act like I have no offers, and just go out there with that mindset."