Monday, July 26, 2010

Clemson lineman feeling confident

GREENSBORO -- Clemson left tackle Chris Hairston, the 6-foot-7, 325-pound man largely responsible for quarterback Kyle Parker’s passing protection, believes the Tigers will be an ACC championship contender with or without quarterback Parker.

“We’re pretty sure he’s going to be with us,” Hairston said at Operation ACC Football.

“If we’re wrong, though, we’re still going to be one of the best teams out there. Kyle’s a great part of who we are, but we’re not a one-man team.”

Parker, who passed for 20 touchdowns and more than 2,500 yards in the Tigers’ drive to the ACC Atlantic Division title in 2009, has been involved with negotiations with Colorado Rockies baseball team.

Last week, Parker announced he would return to Clemson for his redshirt sophomore season, even though speculation continues that he might sign a baseball-only contract.

“Kyle’ll got to do what’s best for him,” said Hairston, a potential NFL draft pick from Winston-Salem. “We’ll be behind him come or go. But we’re still going to be a championship kind of team either way.”

Parker, from Jacksonville, Fla., technically has until Aug. 16 to make a decision relative to baseball or college football. Upon enrollment on Aug. 17 for classes at Clemson, Parker would become ineligible for baseball competition with the Rockies until the January, 2011.

-- Caulton Tudor