For the most part rookie OTAs are full of hyperbole and rampant speculation without news of any real substance. The few stories of note have been TE Cornelius Ingram banging up his oft-injured knee and keeping an eye on whether or not second-year corner Jack Ikegwuonu has a chance at making the team. But every now and then a story like a guy at camp being a former NCAA slam dunk champion gets unearthed -- with video!
Les Bowen tells the tale this morning of former Tulane point guard turned NFL wannabe Byron Parker. Parker was a basketball player long before he ever tried his hand on the gridiron but after winning the dunk contest at the 2003 Final Four, some football people with the Jaguars told him to give the sport a shot.
The chronology of what led the Jags to call is a little tangled.
Somewhere in there, around the time of the dunk contest, Parker decided
to work out at Tulane's football pro day for NFL draft prospects,
though he had never played the sport. And when then-Tulane football
coach Chris Scelfo hailed a lunchroom table of basketball players,
asking who wanted to play for him, Parker volunteered. Ultimately,
Parker said, the Jaguars told him if he played a year of college
football, using up his remaining athletic eligibility, they would take
a look when he was done.
Tom Heckert speaks highly of Parker, comparing his rawness to that of former Eagle Clinton Hart, and notes Byron's athleticism is legit with a 43-inch vertical and 4.49 40-yard dash time.
Parker's chances of making the Birds team this year seem slim, but his story is terribly fun, kind of like his dunks. Check out the video below.