Army freshman linebacker and former Baylor School standout Ryan Parker has played in seven straight games entering Tuesday's Heart of Dallas Bowl against North Texas.
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Baylor's Ryan Parker crosses the stage after receiving one of his awards at the Best of Preps banquet Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Parker won three awards, including the Scrappy Moore male athlete of the year.

Baylor's Ryan Parker cleaned house at the Times Free Press Best of Preps Banquet in June, winning the individual football and wrestling awards in addition to being named male athlete of the year.

Parker will finish his freshman season as an Army linebacker Tuesday afternoon, when the 7-5 Cadets face North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. He has six tackles in eight games and has played in seven consecutive contests.

After Friday's bowl practice, Parker took some time to join "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM.

Q: Are you happy with the way this season has gone?

A: "Very happy. As a team, we've been working really hard and have been able to get a lot of results. We've had a lot better season than last year. For me personally, I've enjoyed being able to play behind great players like Andrew King and Jeremy Timpf. It's been a great learning experience for me, and I think it will help me a lot next year."

Q: Can you take us through a typical weekday during the season?

A: "Our mornings start out normally around 5:30 with a lift. We go to class until about 11 and then eat lunch. We have football meetings and practice from about 2:30 until 7:30, and on a normal day, we have about four or five hours of homework. I'm not going to bed until about 12 or 1 every night."

Q: When will you make the transition from football to wrestling?

A: "That's a tough decision. Most likely, I'll try to transition the day after the bowl game. I'll get to see my family after the bowl, but as soon as I get back to West Point, I'll make the transition."

Q: How much bigger are you now from when you walked out the doors at Baylor?

A: "I walked out the doors around 205. Now I'm sitting around 222 or 223, but the plan is to get much bigger than 223."

Q: What's the hardest thing you've been asked to do so far?

A: "During our boot camp, the hardest thing was to stand at parade rest in the middle of a gas chamber after we just carried an 80-pound pack on our back for 12 miles. That is the hardest thing anybody has ever asked me to do."

Q: You had other options as far as college. Are you happy with your decision?

A: "I'm very happy. I think I made the right choice. I knew I would have to wait behind Andrew King and Jeremy Timpf, but I thought it could be a big boost for my playing ability to learn the game behind two veterans. I needed this year to sit back, watch, learn and get bigger."

Q: How does the Army-Navy rivalry compare to the Baylor-McCallie rivalry?

A: "To be honest, it was not as different as I thought it would be. The feeling inside is the same, and the week building up has that same intensity between the two schools. The game itself was incredible. Playing in front of 7,000 people at Baylor-McCallie was an incredible feeling, but multiply it by 10, and that's really a lot of people."

Q: What was the reaction after Donald Trump said Army-Navy "isn't necessarily the best football" during an in-game interview?

A: "We don't really have an opinion. That's his personal opinion, and as a team we think we play the best of our ability. We're not going to judge, especially a president-elect, on his opinion on us or on our type of football."

Q: Were you able to keep up with Baylor's season?

A: "I watched as much as I could. I watched all of the Baylor-McCallie game, which was a tough game to watch, personally. McCallie definitely had a great game. Robert Riddle was throwing the ball all over the place."

Q: How often are you allowed to come home?

A: "I've been home twice. I went home Thanksgiving, and then I had three days prior to coming to Dallas. I'll go home for a few days as soon as the game is over, and my last time to come home will be spring break."

Q: Turning to our rapid fire, other than the Army-Navy game, what's been your favorite atmosphere this season?

A: "Being at Michie Stadium when we played Louisiana-Lafayette, because that was the first time I really got to be in a game for a few minutes on defense."

Q: What is your favorite war movie?

A: "'Saving Private Ryan.'"

Q: What's the best Christmas present you've ever received?

A: "New tires for my jeep."

Q: Do you have a favorite sport between football and wrestling?

A: "I would go with football. I like football just a little more."

Q: How many push-ups could you do in 60 seconds?

A: "I got over 100 the last time I tried it."

Q: How many pull-ups?

A: "I think I could at least get 30."

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.