Big Rapids, Mich. - Another former Ferris State University
football player will receive an opportunity to play professional
football as Kyle
Parrish has inked a contract with the Canadian
Football League's (CFL) BC Lions.
Parrish, who wrapped up his two-year Bulldog career as the team's starting quarterback last fall, will join the British Columbia squad for its rookie camp slated to begin Wednesday, June 2, in Kamloops, B.C.
"I worked out with them in an open tryout and did really well," said Parrish, who made a good impression during a free-agent tryout set up in Los Angeles. "They ended up calling back and decided to sign me."
Last fall, the 6-1 Parrish completed 127 of 238 passes for 1,407 yards and four touchdowns in 11 contests. He appeared in eight games as a junior in 2008, completing 75 of 137 aerials for 911 yards and six scores.
"Kyle's passion to play the game of football is very strong and this is a great opportunity for him," said FSU head coach Jeff Pierce. "He's a kid with tremendous toughness and is willing to go the extra mile."
Parrish is currently one of four signal callers listed in the BC Lions' stable of quarterbacks, which also includes former Notre Dame starter Jarious Jackson along with Casey Printers (Florida A&M) and Travis Lulay (Montana State). Wally Buono serves as the franchise's head coach and general manager.
Parrish received FSU's 2009 Offensive Coaches Award after finishing his two-year career with 2,092 passing yards on 181 of 339 passing for nine touchdowns. He also ran for 300 yards on 137 attempts and two TD's in his two seasons as a Bulldog signal caller.
In 2008, Parrish was recognized as the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Offensive Player of the Week after coming off the bench to lead FSU to a 31-24 conference road win at Indianapolis (10/11/08). In that contest, Parrish set a school record with 477 total offensive yards in the first extensive game action of his career.
The total included a career-high 404 passing yards and four TD's on 26-of-41 attempts and a team-best 73 rushing yards on nine carries. He completed three pass of 44 yards or more in the game, including a game-winning 44-yard scoring pass with only 18 seconds left after directing the Bulldogs on a 75-yard march in the two-minute drill. His 404 yards passing represented the fourth-highest single game total in school history and he also became only the seventh player in the 102-year history of Bulldog football to throw four or more touchdown passes in a single contest.
Prior to coming to Ferris State, Parrish spent two seasons at Compton (Calif.) Junior College, where he threw for 2,566 yards over two seasons. He was an all-league first team selection on the prep level in Orange County for the Santiago High School Cavaliers in Garden Grove, Calif.
Parrish becomes the second Bulldog player this spring to sign a professional contract as cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson), who also concluded his collegiate career last fall, inked a free agent deal with the National Football League's (NFL) Minnesota Vikings this spring.
Additionally, Parrish is the third FSU player this decade to join the BC Lions, following in the footsteps of former standout receiver Clarence Coleman and defensive tackle Whitney Bell, who both spent time with the franchise. Bell currently serves as FSU's defensive line coach. Former Ferris standout defensive lineman Ed Philion also played extensively in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes.
The Lions open the 2010 campaign with a preseason contest on the road against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, June 13. Their first official game comes on Sunday, July 4, at the Edmonton Eskimos. They will play two preseason tilts along with a 18-game regular-season slate prior to a six-team single elimination playoff format culminating in November's annual Grey Cup Championship Game.
Last season, the Lions posted an 8-10 overall record and placed fourth while clinching a playoff berth out of the CFL's West Division.
The Canadian Football League was founded in 1958 and ranks as one of the most popular sports leagues in Canada. The league includes eight teams and two divisions.