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SBU did its part to prepare Timon Parris for the NFL

Stony Brook's Timon Parris runs a lineman drill

Stony Brook's Timon Parris runs a lineman drill during Stony Brook University's Pro Day at the All Star Arena in Selden on March 26, 2018. Credit: Daniel De Mato

Looking back, the whole conversation was a little surreal for Stony Brook football coach Chuck Priore. He’s been here before, with former players getting NFL Draft buzz. But, four years ago, he could not have predicted that offensive lineman and Floral Park-native Timon Parris would be one of them.

Parris was considered by many to be the most likely former Seawolves player to get the call to the next level this year. Parris didn’t get picked over the three days of the NFL Draft, but according to the Stony Brook football Twitter account, Parris signed as a free agent with the Washington Redskins on Saturday.

During his freshman season, Priore did not exactly see NFL in the lineman’s future.

“It was all development,” Priore said after Stony Brook’s spring football game at LaValle Stadium Saturday afternoon “In fact, I would say it was probably farther from the truth to see that happen. But, as it moved on, it was positive.”

Priore said that Parris went through a physical transformation over the last four years, turning himself from a walk-on to a scholarship player with NFL potential.

“He changed his body in the weight room,” Priore said. “He went from a kid who was 6-5, 240 pounds to 320 pounds. Weight lifting, agility, he really focused in on hard work.”

Parris broke his leg in October, an injury that limited him to only the bench press at the NFL Combine in March. He did, however, participate in on-the-field drills for NFL scouts at Stony Brook’s pro day on March 26.

Other than hosting that pro day, Priore said the program was pretty hands-off when it came to pre-draft preparation. As he sees it, they spent four years getting Parris ready to play at the game’s highest level — now it’s time for the chips to fall as they may.

“We’re preparing him while he plays here and then the agents (take care of) those kind of things once this time of the year happens,” Priore said.

But, that’s not to say the thought of a former player’s name being called isn’t an exciting one for Priore. After all, Stony Brook has never had a player drafted.

“I’m just excited for these guys when they get the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” Priore said. “When you’re a little kid, you always dream about doing something like you see on TV and hopefully he’ll get to do that and he’ll take advantage of it.”

As an un-drafted free agent, Parris will most likely be seen by the Redskins as a project type player, someone they can develop into a lineman with a more polished technique. Priore thinks he’s got the stuff to make it.

“He’s an athletic kid,” Priore said. “He plays the position well and certainly is a competitor. So, hopefully those things will show.”

Defense wins spring game

There were other things for Priore to attend to on this day — mainly turning in the first result of 2018, a 30-17 win for the defense in the program’s annual spring game.

While the offensive point totals were calculated conventionally, the defense scored by achievement. For example, they earned four points for each forced turnover before the ball crossed the 50-yard line, which occurred twice. Starting quarterback and captain Joe Carbone completed 11 of 21 passes for 121 yards and running back Donald Liotine gained 66 yards on 10 carries and scored a touchdown.

“Spring ball is all about getting younger kids better, watching your development, and creating some plan of what we think we have from a personnel standpoint,” Priore said. “The other thing is not getting anyone seriously hurt because the season is right around the bend. But, no one got seriously hurt, so we’re good.”

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