CLEMSON, S.C. -- Not much has changed for Clemson's newest millionaire -- at least not yet anyway.
Quarterback Kyle Parker says he still can't afford to buy dinner after agreeing to a deal with the Colorado Rockies for about $1.4 million. "They don't realize I haven't gotten paid yet," he said Thursday. "So I'm just the same broke college student as anyone else on this campus right now."
Parker won't see the bulk of his baseball money until he's in the Rockies' organization full-time.
That's OK with Parker, who's ready to put baseball on the back-burner and focus fully on football, a sport that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney thinks could bring Parker even more financially with another standout college season.
"I think the much bigger decision is front of" Parker, Swinney said. "I would say he is probably motivated to have a really good season this year to improve his stock, his leverage and his options."
Parker, a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore, would be eligible for the NFL draft next April. Parker isn't worried yet about his football future beyond this fall.
"Hopefully, I can sit back at the end of the season and kind of look at it and maybe make an evaluation" about football, Parker said. "If not, I'll go play baseball and be the happiest person in the world doing that."
Parker wasn't too pleased when negotiations with Colorado stalled until the minutes before the MLB deadline. He already felt stressed his last few football practices and grew frustrated as Monday's midnight deadline ticked closer.
Parker was excused from both Clemson's workouts Monday to talk with the Rockies. But he felt anxious and worried as the sides went back and forth into the night.
"A lot of heavy language and indecision," Parker said. The agreement was reached at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time, five minutes before the Rockies would've lost Parker's rights.
"That's just the way it's done," Parker said. "But there's so much time in between, why do you have to cram it into the last two hours."
When it was done, Parker was satisfied that both his baseball and football futures were intact. "I'm just happy those doors are open and I'm happy (Colorado) would invest that in me to be a professional player," he said.
Parker missed Tuesday's scrimmage at Clemson after his stressful night. There was no practice Wednesday with the start of classes so Parker didn't return to action until Thursday's two-hour afternoon workout.
Swinney's been impressed with Parker's steadiness and attitude throughout camp as the baseball contract loomed. The coach says Parker's kept his eyes on Clemson's goal of an Atlantic Coast Conference championship, something the Tigers sorely want after losing to Georgia Tech in the title game last fall.
Parker started all 14 games last year as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 20 touchdowns and 2,526 yards. His poise and strong arm were big reasons why Clemson ran off six straight wins on the way to its first Atlantic Division crown.
Last spring, the junior outfielder and designated hitter hit 20 homers -- the first Division I athlete to go 20-20 in TDs and home runs the same academic year -- and led the Tigers into the College World Series.
Parker was playing at an NCAA regional in Auburn when the news he was taken with Colorado's first pick touched off a mini celebration among family and friends in attendance.
Parker acknowledged that, as a first-round pick, he thought he was finished with Clemson. However, Colorado would not meet the Parker family's terms to give up football and Parker was soon back on campus and reconnecting with teammates.
The Rockies didn't try and talk Parker out of college football this time around.
"I felt like I got the best of both worlds," he said. "I get to come back here and hopefully play an awesome team every Saturday and enjoy the experience.
"Then I can go play baseball and pursue that in the spring," he said.