Wednesday, April 22, 2015

David Parry…and the Two-Minute Drill

Editor's Note: On May 2, David Parry was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in Round 5 of the NFL Draft. He will join former Stanford teammates: Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Griff Whalen, and Henry Anderson. 

The NFL draft is fast approaching.

For football players who have declared for the draft, the last few months have been packed with training, training, and more training. Although, the type of training they’ve been doing is slightly different from how they typically work to get ready for a football season.

Pac-12 All-Academic first teamer David Parry, a nose tackle, who played at Stanford, is one of these athletes. He was invited to the NFL Combine, participated in Stanford’s Pro Day, as well as regional tryouts for a few teams.

David Parry, No. 58, during the Foster
Farms Bowl in Dec. 2014. Photo courtesy
Last season, as a fifth-year senior, David tallied 34 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He was a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy and was All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

David has taken an incredible journey to this point. Coming out of Linn-Mar (Iowa) High School he played both offensive and defensive tackle. As a senior he was an Iowa Newspaper Association 4A all-state first team offensive lineman, made the Iowa Preps Elite all-state first team, All-Mississippi Valley Conference and all-Cedar Rapids Metro Area first team, and was selected to play in the Iowa Shrine All-Star game.

With all that, he wasn’t offered a Division I college scholarship. I still can’t believe that and I’m not the only one.

He walked on at Stanford and was awarded a scholarship during training camp of his second year. He quickly made an impact on the team.

David who stands at 6-2 and is 300+ lbs., made his first career start in his junior year at UCLA and had a team-high five solo tackles, a sack, and a pass deflection. In the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin that year he had three solo tackles. The following year he finished with 23 tackles.

The draft analysis on David points out that he: explodes out of stance and into linemen with force. He also: has strength and functional quickness to be a factor against the run while creating push and pocket disruption against the pass.

I sat down with David recently and he shared his perspective and what’s he’s been doing since the end of the Stanford football season.

PJ: What have you been doing since the bowl game?

David: After the bowl, then it was the East-West Shrine game, then the NFL Combine, then Pro Day. It’s been one goal at a time. Since then it’s been all football, all training.

PJ: Some players go away to train for the combine, why did you decide to stay at Stanford?

David: Throughout my career I’ve worked with Coach Turley. He’s tailored my workout for my body and how my body responds to the conditioning. It was about me trusting him fully. There was no question if I would get the same quality training here. There are lots of reasons to go elsewhere. Some think it’s more glamorous and some want a change of scenery. I had everything I need here, so there was no reason to go anywhere else.

PJ: What was the difference between training for the NFL combine and Pro Day?

David: The combine training is very specific. You know the position drills you will be doing. They’ve done the same drills for 20 years. You can train for these. Some argue that this is a good thing because you can take the results and compare them to guys from 10 or 20 years ago. At Pro Day, when it comes to position drills you don’t know what you’ll get. Coach Turley told us some (coaches) just like to work you until you drop. For Pro Day, you just have to be ready for anything.

PJ: How was your training for the combine and Pro Day different from how you train throughout the year?

David: During the year training is broken into four seasons. This training was like our spring training. It was about explosiveness, speed, and power. In the summer we do more conditioning to get our joints and muscles ready for the season. In-season we do maintenance and continue to do lifts and exercises to prevent injuries in games and practices.

Here, our favorite time is spring, as the sun is out more. It’s fun to run and lift. For my drills (at these events) my strategy on the 40 yard dash was to run a good 10 yard split. That’s what I focused on… as an inside linebacker the explosiveness was important for me.

PJ: So, break down your training.

David: Mondays and Thursdays we came in by 10am to lift for an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes. We were on the field and ready to run at noon for one hour to one and a half hours. On Monday we had speed-oriented runs. On Thursday they were lateral-based for drills. Tuesday was lifting. Wednesday was a day of recovery with the foam roller, yoga, and a cold tub.

PJ: Coach Turley is on the cutting edge of strength and conditioning training. How is his training different?

David: On functionality, each lift has a purpose. The focus is on detail. Each movement helps you stay on the field and perform at a higher level. At the beginning working with Coach Turley was definitely a learning curve. If you talk to every guy who is a fan of Coach Turley he probably hated him at one point! Initially, we butted heads a bit, but I looked at the older guys who played my position and realized if you buy in to what Coach Turley is trying to teach, you’ll be successful. There are a lot of factors that have gone into me getting here. Coach Turley has been very instrumental in my development as a football player and as a person. One thing that doesn’t get talked about much is that he also trains you for life.

David, No. 58, against Notre Dame
in Oct. 2014. Photo courtesy of
PJ: Has your dream been to play pro football in the NFL?

David: Almost unknowingly. I always dreamt of playing big time college football. Coming out of high school I had no scholarship offers, so I focused on playing football, strictly that. When I got here, I started playing for my team. Now I am on the verge of making this happen. It’s pretty cool.

PJ: Has not getting scholarships been a motivator for you?

David: It definitely will motivate me for the rest of my life. The idea of being doubted and underappreciated upsets me and is the fuel that has motivated me. It’s the chip on my shoulder for training and especially when I’m playing. I showed I can play at this level, now going to the next level, there are doubters again. They say my arms are too short and I’m not tall enough to play. I will end up thanking these people (for the motivation).

PJ: What was your ‘I made it moment’?

David: In the first Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. I faced the best offensive lineman (Travis Frederick) I’ve ever played against, besides David DeCastro (who is an offensive guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers and played at Stanford). I was making plays that game. I competed and even got the best of him at times. I showed I was in the right place. I was not complacent. After he got me on plays in the beginning, I wanted to still compete, and play against someone at that level and dominate them.

PJ: Where will you watch the draft?

David: I am going home to Marion, Iowa, to watch with Mom and Dad, my brother and his wife and their two kids, and a few friends from high school. I’m not planning a party as I’m not sure if I’ll be drafted.

PJ: Who was your favorite athlete growing up?

David: To be honest growing up my brother (George, who played football at Harvard) was my favorite football player. He and my dad taught me everything. My brother played with a physicality and tenacity I like to bring to my play. I was fortunate to watch him play growing up.