Parker humble as camp approaches

Justin Parker

CLEMSON – Even with all the hype that came went along with his recruitment last winter, Justin Parker knows that he'd better stay humble as the freshman linebacker at Clemson.

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CUTigersTV: Justin Parker



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The former Beaufort High School three-star middle linebacker signed with Clemson over South Carolina and LSU on National Signing Day last February, following a frenzied recruiting process.

"You can't be big-headed coming into a place like this," he told CUTigers after Thursday afternoon's skills and drills workout.

"You have to play your role as a freshman before you can take another step."

Even with a modest approach there are plenty of expectations for Parker as the open of his first fall camp looms on Aug. 3.

"I'm just going to work hard and just do what I've got to do," he said.

When Parker arrived to Clemson, the wheels were already in motion. Earlier this summer he dove right into the playbook to better familiarize himself with Steele's calls.

"You have to learn a lot. There's no simple stuff anymore. It's a lot more to learn," he said. "I kind of figured it out a little bit, but not as much as I thought."

It helps when there are plenty of upperclassmen right there to provide some guidance.

"Everything is starting to come to me with all the upperclassmen trying to sit down with me and trying to help me learn the plays."

Corico Hawkins, Brandon Maye and Andre Branch are the main three that have helped Parker over the first few weeks of his Clemson career.

"I'll ask those guys questions if I have any," he said.

Go figure. Two older, more experienced linebackers, who'll be battling with Parker for playing time in less than two weeks, are willing to offer advice when it's needed.

"I won't say that the guys are actually scared that I'm going to take their spot. They know that I'm going to come in here and help them out a lot," Parker said.

This fall, he'll start to pitch in at outside linebacker.

According to Parker, how much he plays and where exactly he plays is left up to Steele.

"I'm just going to work hard. Depending on how coach Steele feels about putting me in, that's his decision. I'm going to leave that up to him," Parker said.

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