On April 22, when the flashbulbs start popping indicating those most favored by the draft mavens of the NFL, don’t expect former USC offensive lineman Alex Parsons to be among those first chosen.
When that Thursday comes and goes, while Parsons’ fellow Trojan teammates are smiling and saying nice things about their new employers, Alex will probably be working out.
And while it may bother Parsons, it won’t deter him from continuing to do what he has always done, which is to hone his craft in an effort to be the best he can be.
It’s always been that way for him, whether it was as a decorated defensive lineman at Woodbridge high school in Irvine, Ca, or as a converted offensive guard/center for the Trojans.
When I caught up with Alex, he had just completed another one of the six weekly workouts he conducts with his velocity trainer, Adam Johnson.
For Parsons, it has always been about getting better and doing whatever needed to be done for the team.
As a sophomore at USC, Parsons was asked to switch to the offensive line. Though it surprised him, Alex didn’t hesitate.
As camp wound up, Parsons found himself high on the depth chart. As an offensive lineman.
When asked why the switch was made, Parsons cited both his versatility and intelligence as the main motivation the coaches gave him for changing positions.
It’s that intelligence that leads Parsons to seek employment in the NFL as a center.
It is well known that centers are the “Einsteins” of the offensive line and it is there where Alex Parsons seeks to ply his trade.
But don’t get the idea that intelligence is his only asset.
At the NFL combine, Parsons finished close to the top 10 for offensive linemen in the forty yard dash and in the top three for the 20-yard split.
Combine that with his 6’5,” 300 lb. frame and it is easy to see why Alex Parsons may have a long future at the next level.
However, don’t expect the former Trojan to rest on the numbers he produced at the combine.
One of the things that Parsons said he needed to improve was his upper body strength.
When Parsons started training, he was able to only bench the standard 225 lbs 13 times.
Determined to dramatically improve those numbers, Parsons set to work.
Less than a month later at the combine, he almost doubled the repetitions.
By the time USC’s pro day rolls around, expect Parsons to improve those numbers even more.
Although Alex Parsons will not be in the spotlight at USC’s pro day or at the NFL draft, he will be a worthy investment for the NFL team smart enough to use a pick on him.
While Taylor Mays and Everson Griffin are the center of attention, Parsons will be a center that pays attention to getting better.
It is that dedication that should produce a solid career in the NFL.
Asked if he had a preference regarding which team might draft him, Parsons said no, he just wanted an opportunity to compete for a job.
Given the dramatic improvement already noted and the driving spirit of competition that Pete Carroll and the USC credo has ingrained in him, the future looks very bright indeed.
Now all Alex Parsons needs is that opportunity.
NFL, are you listening?