SEATTLE, Wash. - On the first day National Football League teams are able to sign rookie free agents following the lockout, Newberry College 10-time All-American free safety Ron Parker has agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks. Parker confirmed this information with www.NewberryWolves.com on Tuesday afternoon.
Parker is Newberry's second free agent signing with an NFL team in the last two years, after Kelton Tindal went to rookie mini-camps with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. Prior to that, Newberry's most recent free agent was Rico Cannon, who signed as a free agent with Philadelphia in 1997 and Oakland in 1999. No Newberry player has been drafted since 1974.
Parker is one of the most honored players in Newberry College history. He was named a first team All-American by D2Football.com and Don Hansen's Football Gazette, a second team All-American by Daktronics and a third team Little All-American by the Associated Press following his 2010 season. He earned preseason All-American honors from Lindy's, The Sporting News and Consensus Draft Services prior to the season.
In 2010, Parker led the South Atlantic Conference in interceptions and fumble recoveries and made 59 tackles. Parker finished the regular season ranked 14th nationally in interceptions with 0.56 per game, and was one of fewer than 20 players at all levels of collegiate football to record eight takeaways, snagging five interceptions and recovering three fumbles. He had a career-best 16 tackles at Mars Hill and had a defensive takeaway in six of his nine games played, including two straight games with two takeaways and three straight games with a fumble recovery, including a 72-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Catawba.
In addition to his four postseason All-American honors, Parker was named first team all-Super Region Two by Don Hansen's Football Gazette and Daktronics and played in the 2011 Cactus Bowl all-star game, where he made four tackles. He was also named first team all-South Atlantic Conference and earned all-South Carolina honors from the Orangeburg Touchdown Club.
In 2009, Parker was named a first team All-American by Don Hansen's Football Gazette and a second team All-American by Daktronics and D2Football.com. He was a first team all-Super Region Two selection by Daktronics and was a first team all-South Atlantic Conference player. He was named an all-South Carolina player by The State newspaper and the Orangeburg Touchdown Club. The 2009 South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year led Newberry and was second in the SAC with 8.3 stops per game. He led the SAC in interceptions with six picks and added seven pass breakups for a total of 13 passes defended, which was second most in the SAC. He tied for 11th in Division II in interceptions and tied for 68th in Division II in tackles per game. He also forced two fumbles and made 5.5 tackles for loss and was named the SAC Defensive Player of the Week after returning an interception for the game-winning touchdown at Wingate.