KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Newberry College’s Ron Parker has been in the NFL for three seasons in different capacities for four different teams. The first big impression of his career came on a big play in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday.
With 11:19 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys driving, Parker blew by his man on a corner blitz and stripped Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo of the ball. He then jumped on the loose ball to complete the “trifecta” play of a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery on the same play.
Parker, who was picked up off the waiver wire by Kansas City just two weeks ago, was on the field for just his second play of the game when he made his presence felt.
“The whole day I was waiting on Coach to call my number; with Dunta Robinson being down I’m the next man up,” he told the Kansas City Star following the game. “So when I finally got in the game and got an opportunity to make my play, Coach called the blitz. I came on the blitz and ran it right.”
Parker was making just his 10th all-time NFL appearance, as he had previously spent time with the Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks. He made on special teams tackle in the Chiefs’ opening win at Jacksonville in his first appearance for Kansas City.
Parker and the Chiefs will be back on the field after a quick turnaround, traveling to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on the Eagles for a Thursday night nationally televised game. The game is scheduled for an 8:35 p.m. start on the NFL Network.
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.