The Class of 2023 for Clemson Football was a large group of talented players. Some of them will play right away due to either talent or need at their position. Some will almost certainly redshirt. Others are a mystery.
Here are the freshmen who seem most likely to avoid a redshirt as things stand right now.
- Number: 12
- Position: Defensive End
- Height: 6’-3”
- Weight: 255 pounds
- High School: Central High School
- Hometown: Phenix City, Alabama
- 247Sports Rating: 4-star
- 247Sports Ranking: 43rd
Sometimes a player gets lots of snaps as a true freshman because the team is lacking in depth at their position. Sometimes they are just so talented that they just can’t stay off the field.
When it comes to Parker, right now I think I am leaning towards the former, but the latter might be close to true also.
We knew Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll were likely going to start at defensive end. What we didn’t know is if veterans like Cade Denhoff and Zaire Patterson would be ready to fill in the two-deep or if a player with Parker’s talent would boost him into the second string.
We also don’t know how often the team could move to a three-man front, if such an alignment would include a second defensive end, or if tackles like Peter Woods or Ruke Orhorhoro would move outside.
Right now, it looks like Parker has earned a spot in the second string alongside Denhoff. What we don’t know is if he will be the first defensive end off the bench or the second.