Wade keeping an eye on bigger picture

CLEMSON – It was a tough pill to swallow for redshirt senior Michael Wade when he learned that Kyle Parker would be back for 2010.

Like just most everyone else, Wade believed it was all but a done deal. Parker would forgo the remainder of his football eligibility to play professional baseball.

Parker, who doubles as starting quarterback and baseball star, was drafted in 26th overall by the Colorado Rockies. Following the June draft, the job was assumed to be up for grabs between Wade and redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd.

Midway through last week Parker announced that he would return for at least one more season of college football.

"At first I was kind of disappointed. I had worked for two and a half months," Wade admitted, following the final skills and drills workout of the summer.

"I realized that it's a lot more important that I took ownership of this team," Wade said. "For guys to see that ability—I guess from my viewpoint now, I'm thinking a lot more about special teams and defense. I'm probably going to cross-train at safety and quarterback again."

Since he was signed as a three-star quarterback out of Greer's Riverside High School, Wade's served as the holder on field goals and moved back and forth between quarterback and safety.

He played five snaps at quarterback in 2009 and also averaged 20 plays a game on special teams.

Wade played three snaps at safety as a redshirt freshman in 2007 and his first snaps as a quarterback came in mop up duty against Duke in 2008.

The likelihood of more snaps looked promising for 2010.

"I came here to play quarterback. I felt like I was as close as I had ever been to playing," Wade said.

After July 20, his shot to be the starting quarterback went from good to slim. Very slim. And that's just fine with Wade, who called it a "learning experience."

"Kyle's decision to come back, that's great for our team. I'm really excited for our chances. He brings to the table a lot of things that can help us win," Wade said. "From that standpoint, I can't be upset because he definitely provides us a good chance to win."

There's still a role for him this fall, too.

"If I was just holding kicks, I wouldn't be devastated, but I would definitely be questioning why I was here," Wade said. "When you're out there playing 30 snaps a game on special teams—and I enjoyed the heck out of it—I'm excited to do that again. When I was thinking about playing quarterback, I was sure that I was going to miss running down the field on kickoff and all that other stuff."

"I'm going to be out there the first play of the season, regardless. Whether that's on kickoff or kickoff return, there really is nothing like 80,000 fans looking at you.

"The adrenaline rush is unreal. I've had that for a year now and I want some more of it."

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