The college football season will kickoff in just a few short weeks and former Imhotep Charter standout Dedrick Parson, who is plays for Howard University, can hardly wait for it to begin.
Parson, a terrific running back for the Bison, was recently selected to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason first team. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound redshirt sophomore, will be ready to lead Howard in a non-conference game against the University of Maryland on Saturday, Aug. 31 at College Park, Md. (12 p.m. noon). This will be a good test for the Bison facing the Terrapins from the Big Ten Conference.
“I can’t wait for the game and to show my skill set what I’ve worked for and how far I’ve gained,” Parson said. “To know that I can compete on that level. To show that I can compete. It’s just exciting. I can’t wait for the game.”
A year ago, Parson really showed what he could do on the field. He had 932 all-purpose yards, which included 706 rushing and 226 receiving. He had nine rushing touchdowns and one receiving.
He had two big time performances. Parson rush for 148 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns in a victory over Morgan State. He had 149 yards on 26 attempts while scoring a touchdown in a win over Florida A&M.
Parson’s efforts earned him MEAC Rookie of the Year honors. In addition, he was selected all-conference first team.
“Every game I was going 100 percent,” Parson said. “I wasn’t worried about stats. I was just worried about winning. I was selfless. I put my teammates first.”
Howard could be making a lot of big plays this season. Offensively, the Bison led the conference in scoring last year. Howard averaged 33.6 points a game. Parson is surrounded by playmakers on Howard’s offensive team. It all starts with Caylin Newton, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton, who can beat you with his arms and legs. Newton led the MEAC in passing completing 156 of 304 passes for 2,629 yards with 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He rushed 156 carries for 504 yards with four TDs.
Wide receiver Kyle Anthony led the conference in receptions. Anthony had 53 catches for 659 yards and six TDs. Howard’s big play wide receiver Jequez Ezzard caught 40 passes for 1,064 yards and 12 TDs.
“You play with guys like Jequez, Kyle Anthony another receiver who is tops in the league and Caylin Newton,” Parson said. “You play with smart guys like that on and off the field. Caylin can extend plays and keep the defense honest. You keep the defense honest with run pass option.
“Jequez Ezzard is an amazing athlete. You see him in practice. Everything he does in practice, he does in the game. You play with guys like that. It’s just helps you out a lot in some different aspects of the game.”
Parson attributes much of his success to his scholastic career at Imhotep Charter. The Panthers have one of the best football programs in the state.
“When you look at Imhotep, you just think about winning,” Parson said. “You just know that when you go to this program that you know that it’s going to be winning and you know that it’s going to be competition.
“You talk about a lot of great guys who come out of there. There’s competition every single day in practice. There’s great guys in front of you. You’re around greatness.”
Parson has some family members who come down to Washington, D.C. to watch Howard play at Greene Stadium. They usually make the three-hour drive to see him play during the season.
“My mom comes to every single game,” Parson said. “My mom is my No. 1 fan. My mom, my sister and my aunt they get to come to the games.”
His family will have a chance to watch him play real soon.