The last two season openers for the Florida International University Panthers have come on the road and after both games, Ash Parker would miss the remainder of the seasons after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee not once, but twice. Ashlyn Parker truly embodies Character, Courage, Contribution and Commitment in the following ways:
Character - Ash is the type of player who is the first to arrive and last to leave. He spends countless hours in the film room studying his opponents and teaching his teammates. On the field he is the captain of the defense and considered a coach on the field. Throughout his two years of rehab, he inspired his teammates to work even harder on and off the field after seeing how much time and effort he was putting into his recovery.
Courage – Coming back from one ACL injury is hard enough, let alone two in consecutive seasons. While some people would want to hang up their cleats, Parker never thought about giving up.
Contribution – Ash Parker is the definition of a team player. Recruited as a wide receiver he didn’t think twice about switching to play Safety. When he was injured he spent as much time in the training room as he did in the film room. He mentored and helped younger players throughout the entire time he was injured.
Commitment – Ash Parkers’ commitment to the FIU Program can never be questioned. In his six years on the team, he has been through two head coaches, four offensive coordinators, three defensive coordinators and two athletic directors. Parker has also endured four losing seasons and helped turn around a program in 2010 that saw its first winning season, first season of bowl-eligibility and most importantly to him, FIU’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship.