Preston Parker Talks About Changing His Ways

September 24th, 2011

Drugs, drinking and driving, weapons, arrests and dealing with prosecutors were all part of Preston Parker’s days at Florida State University — before he got booted from the football team and landed at Division II North Alabama.

Last year, Parker made the Bucs as an undrafted rookie, and last week against Minnesota, he had his first breakout game with six catches for 98 yards.

Speaking last night on Total Access on WDAE-AM 620, Parker talked a bit about turning his life around.

Parker said he landed at North Alabama thanks to his former coach Bobby Bowden and Terry Bowden, then the new head coach at North Alabama.

“I never doubted I wouldn’t make it to the NFL. I just kept pushing. I knew everything happened for a reason. That was supposed to happen, me getting dismissed. I learned a lot of things from Florida State, to North Alabama to Tampa. And I’m still learning things, but I’m a much wiser guy, a better guy,” Parker said.

“I’m making a lot of better decisions. Young and dumb, you know what they say. I’m glad I went through it, Because if I wouldn’t have gone through it, it would have been a much bigger disaster than what happened at Florida State.

 “Just being in Florence, Alabama. There’s one KFC there, and there’s two workers that work there 24/7. They only have two workers, and they don’t have no barbecue sauce. So it gave me time to get my thoughts together and see where I wanted to go in life. I knew I wanted to go to the league, so it let me know what I had to do to get here.”

Parker explained how at North Alabama he got involved in a non-football student committee to analyze campus issues and help improve them. He also said his focus there was football and grades.

And Parker shared his 2010 draft-day story of Bucs wide receivers coach Eric Yarber calling him during the seventh round to say the Bucs wanted him on board with them immediately following the draft. Parker said he committed instantly because the Bucs were the first to call and he wasn’t about to wait for other offers or try to negotiate a contract.

Joe’s glad to see the young man turned around his fortunes. 

12 Responses to “Preston Parker Talks About Changing His Ways”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Nothing I like better than a tale of Redemption. I thought Parker showed up both halves, and kept them in the game.
    He has shown he has the talent to be our fourth WR.

    I am happy for him, and hope he keeps on the right path!

  2. macabee Says:

    Terry Bowden is doing some good things at North Alabama to help young talented players get on the right track. Preston Parker and Ed Gant are both from NA and his latest project is Janoris Jenkins from UF, a sure 1st round CB in 2012. We need a CB next year and Dominik doesn’t appear to be afraid to take on a talented but controversial player ala Mike Williams. Stranger things have happened. My personal preference would be Dre Kirkpatrick from Bama if he comes out.

  3. astrobuc Says:

    I really think he has turned into a fine young man. I have not heard one bad thing about him since joining the bucs.

    He seems to have locked that 3rd wr down, which will only make this team better. Sammie probably wr #5 when he returns.

  4. Brad Says:

    I heard the interview and really took two things from it.. He doesnt like running routes in practice and he’s not interested in taking notes on db’s as suggested by Olson. I think he had a great game but won’t last in the NFL. IMO…

  5. Vince Says:

    Glad he seems to have turned a corner in his life. As an FSU guy myself I watched his fall from grace, and am very happy to see that he appears to have matured on my favorite pro team.


    I always find time for reflection when the KFC runs out of BBQ sauce…

    “I never doubted I wouldn’t make it to the NFL….and they don’t have no barbecue sauce.”

    Yep, sounds like Nole…

  7. Big Marlon B Says:

    lmao @ FGO….

    i thought the same thing. i’m glad to see he is trying to do the right thing now….but if it takes KFC having no BBQ sauce for u to re-evaluate ur life, something is seriously wrong.

    as far as the double negatives, all of these guys do that….it used to drive me nuts, but im getting used to it now. that, and things like “he go out there and do what he do”.

  8. Vince Says:

    Easy there FGO! 😉


    @Big Marlon B

    You’re right about the double negatives. I’m a USF alum and I have to admit that listening to Jason Pierre-Paul butcher the English language is far worse than any of Parker’s faux pas’ quoted here.

    But the segue from no bbq sauce at the 24-hour, two-man KFC to “…it gave me time to put my thoughts together” is hilarious.

  10. tony2cents Says:

    Come to Alabama – We’ll make you rethink your life choices.

  11. BecklesHeartsRuud Says:

    yeah…This guy is a walking stereotype but whatever…as long as he keeps catching passes it aint not all good with me.

  12. someonefromflorencealabama Says:

    i live in florence,alabama and to get the story straight we have two KFC’s and they have more than two employes and they do not not stay open 24/7, i think he just thought that sounded like a good story(and they do have bbq sauce) and I too was kinda skeptical about him saying that was some life changing moment…give me a break…but i do wish him well and hope florence,alabama did have a positive change on his life,it is a very nice area to live in…