It’s a subject Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore doesn’t even want to discuss for fear of a jinx.
Priore has enjoyed the luxury of not worrying about the left tackle position in the last four years as Floral Park native Timon Parris has started all 40 games in his tenure at Stony Brook.
“I take a lot of pride in being able to toughen out the minor aches and pains, come out and just prepare for every game,” Parris said. “I take a lot of pride in that because not a lot of people have been able to do it, especially in this game.”
And not only has Parris been on the field, but he has also performed at an incredibly high level. The 6-5, 320-pound senior was named a second-team FCS All-American last season and preseason first-team selection this year.
“Each and every week we go into it saying we can win that battle at left tackle versus anybody we play against,” Priore said. “Whether it was South Florida, whether it’s Richmond this week, and he’s performed that way also. Sometimes you have talent but you don’t perform, but he’s performing up to his talent level.”
That has translated to great success for the Stony Brook offense, averaging 28.7 points per game. Quarterback Joe Carbone is having a career season with his blind side protected. The rushing attack is averaging more than 4 yards a carry in large part to Parris and the rest of the offensive line. Although a lineman is unlikely to take the ball across the goal line, the unit shares in the glory.
“We take a lot of pride in that because we know we’re like the engine of the offense,” Parris said. “We know once we get it going then everybody else is going to be going.”
Priore said he’s constantly impressed with Parris’ technique, not just relying on pure strength and size to overpower players, and his footwork on the line.
“He’s certainly developed into an elite player and I think if the left tackle can be an elite player at any level of football, you’re probably going to be a good football team,” Priore said. “He’s worked really hard at it and he’s certainly able to control that position both in the run game and the pass game.”
The Seawolves (5-2, 4-1 Colonial) will need another dominant week from Parris when they travel to No. 17 Richmond (4-3, 2-2) for a 3 p.m. matchup Saturday. Stony Brook defeated then No. 2 Richmond, 42-14, last season and the players expect the Spiders to come out with additional motivation.
“I think they’re not going to underestimate us again,” Parris said. “They’re going to know what we’re able to do and come out and be ready for any shot we throw at them.”