🎙 The Jayhawker Podcast | Andrew Parchment
Episode 37: Andrew Parchment | September 24, 2020
Andrew Parchment is a preseason first-team All-Big 12 selection, a Biletnikoff Award nominee and the clear go-to receiver for the Kansas Jayhawks. The stage is set for a memorable senior campaign and perhaps an NFL future as well.
But get this – it almost didn’t happen.
This week on The Jayhawker Podcast we explore Parchment’s rise to Big 12 stardom, and the long road it took to get there.
Overlooked by Power 5 conferences coming out of high school in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Parchment wound up at Northern Illinois where he took an academic redshirt season in 2016. A year later, he made his collegiate debut. Though he played in nine games that 2017 campaign, Parchment caught just one pass for a total of six yards.
He felt he wasn’t fitting in with the Huskies and it became clear to him that a change of scenery was needed.
“I just knew that the situation I was in wasn’t going to get me to where I wanted to be ultimately, and that was playing at the next level,” recalled Parchment. “There was a bunch of nights when I just didn’t think I was good enough. I was at a non-Power 5 team and I wasn’t playing, so a lot of doubt crept into my mind. But I just knew there was more for me.”
Parchment describes those two seasons in DeKalb, Ill., as a humbling experience, but a necessary part of his story.
“When you come out of high school your senior year, you’re on top of the world,” described Parchment. “You feel like nobody can touch you, but that redshirt year definitely humbles a lot of people and I definitely went through a lot of growing pains that year. But I wouldn’t go back in time and change anything because I know for a fact that if I didn’t go through what I went through those first couple years, I wouldn’t be sitting here (today).”
Humbled but not deflated, frustrated but not defeated, Parchment took to Twitter to find a new football home.
“A lot of people don’t know, but I was supposed to walk-on to Florida International,” explained Parchment. “But after I got on campus there I was just looking around and I was just like, ‘Man, I know there is more for me.’ I just knew that FIU wasn’t the end and that’s when I decided to send out my film again on Twitter and found a random junior college out in the ‘Middle of Nowhere, Iowa.’ And I just went from there.”
That school was Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa and in one season there, Parchment hauled in 23 receptions for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns, while making quite an impression in the process. Offers started rolling in from UNLV, Hawaii and others.
But one phone call from a National Championship winning head coach moved a Big 12 school to the top of the list.
“One night, I get a call from a Louisiana number and it was Coach (Les) Miles calling my phone. At first I thought it was a joke,” Parchment said with a smile. “He said he wanted me to come for an official visit. As soon as I got up there I saw him with the big National Championship ring and I was like, ‘If you’re willing to take me, I’m ready to go.’”
A big part of Miles’ pitch to Parchment was discussing coaching Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry at LSU and the hopes of propelling Parchment to similar success at Kansas.
Fast forward one year of working with Coach Miles and Wide Receivers Coach Emmett Jones, and Parchment is loving life as a Jayhawk and proving Miles right. He was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection last year after posting four games of 100 or more yards and reeling in seven touchdowns.
“When he mentioned me in the same exact sentence as those guys, it was a great accomplishment,” Parchment said. “(It) also showed that I can actually do it, so I need to grind even harder so I won’t just be a “What if?” story for Coach Miles. I want to be a guy that five to 10 years down the line, recruits will be like ‘Coach Miles coached Andrew Parchment, I want to go there.’’
Now in his final season at Kansas, Parchment is hopeful for even bigger production and more victories in 2020. He shares those ambitions as well as another hidden talent of his on this week’s edition of “The Jayhawker Podcast.”