For most of last season, Statesville (N.C.) played without star starting quarterback Carlis Parker . Parker, then a junior, missed most of the 2011 season with a torn LCL. The 6’4″, 185-pound signal caller is now healthy, something that has put a spark into this Statesville squad.
“We’re really excited about this season, especially with getting Carlis Parker back,” Statesville head coach Randall Gusler said. “He has come back 100-percent. He looked really good in 7-on-7s this summer. He played very, very well in the 7-on-7s. This week, in preseason practice, we have been able to get into the run game also. He’s shaking the rust off real quick.”
Mentally and physically, the Virginia Tech-bound recruit seems fully recovered from the knee injury.
“I don’t think there are any worries whatsoever. We have thrown him out at wide receiver a few plays in 7-on-7 to see how he does in the open field. He made some pretty catches. I don’t think there is any fear of injury,” Gusler said. “He seems 100-percent. I don’t thinking he is even thinking about. His mind is good.”
A healthy Parker shined as a sophomore, passing for 1,800 yards and rushing for 1,200 more. The lefty signal caller appears primed for another monster season.
“He’s a dynamic athlete,” Gusler said of Parker. “We want the ball in his hands every play. His sophomore year was a big year. Last year, he got injured. This year, he is doing things so much faster and quicker. When he was a sophomore, he was a 4.55-second kid in the 40. Right now, he is hitting the 4.4s. He’s even faster than he was as a sophomore. That’s why we’re so excited.”
Gusler says it has “really been enjoyable” coaching Parker, whose character matches his ability on the football field.
“He’s such a dynamic athlete, but the thing that impresses me more is his character,” Gusler said. “He is a role model in school. He works extremely hard. He got three As and a B last semester, and he was mad about the B. He wanted four As. So he is very focused in the classroom. He’s focused on what’s happening in life. As a freshman, he was so much more...
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