Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney announced after Friday's practice that junior linebacker Justin Parker will have to take a medical redshirt this season due to a nagging groin injury that will not heal, according to Clemson's athletics website ClemsonTigers.com.
Swinney said the former Beaufort High School star has done everything to help the injury heal, but it continues to come back. He said the two agreed it was best he sit this year out and come back next season so he can have two healthy seasons to play.
Parker is eligible for a redshirt because he played as a true freshman. But just because the Tigers plan to redshirt Parker doesn't mean they will.
"He is out with a pulled groin right now," Clemson athletic spokesman Tim Bourret said Saturday afternoon by email.
"You could say today, the plan is to redshirt him, but that could change," Bourret said. "In 1999 we sat out Bernard Rambert the first four games with the plan to redshirt him. In game five, he scored two touchdowns against Maryland."
Parker played in 14 games last season, recording 10 tackles, seven on special teams. In two seasons, he's made 19 tackles and played 90 defensive snaps in 23 games. He led the Tigers with six tackles against Presbyterian during his freshman season.
The 13th-ranked player in South Carolina by Rivals.com after a senior year that saw him record 140 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks, Parker played in the Shrine Bowl and the Offensive-Defensive All-American Bowl before choosing Clemson over LSU and South Carolina.