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FSU's Parker speaks for first time on April arrest

For Florida State star receiver Preston Parker, the toughest person to face in the wake of his April arrest was one of his biggest fans, coach Jimbo Fisher's 7-year-old son, Trey.

"When I was up in jail (for 15 hours), his voice was going through my mind. It just kept saying, 'Preston, Preston,' " Parker said Friday, speaking publicly for the first time about his arrest. "I was like, 'What am I going to tell him?' "

When the question did come from the youngster, who often wears Parker's No. 5 jersey, Parker searched for an answer.

"I told him I made a bad decision," he said of his arrest by Palm Beach Gardens police and charges of carrying a concealed firearm, a felony, and possessing 4.81 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of carrying a concealed weapon and the drug possession.

Parker, suspended for the first two games, said he performed 65 hours of community service (the court ordered 50, and FSU imposed an additional 50).

"It made me realize a lot of stuff," he said. "… I could have lost my whole future, my son (Preston Jr., now 1)."

USF: True freshman DT may get to start

TAMPA — Defensive tackle Cory Grissom has impressed coach Jim Leavitt enough that he could play as a true freshman.

"There's no question that the kid Grissom was our best D-lineman probably today," Leavitt said. "He's a true freshman, and if he's that good, he may start for us."

Junior Kion Wilson was with the first unit at middle linebacker, and senior Tyrone McKenzie shifted back to strongside. On the offensive line, guard Ryan Schmidt worked at left tackle and Matt Huners at guard, a lineup that would give the Bulls five linemen with at least a year of starting experience.

Freshman defensive end Josh Alston, a walk-on from Armwood, left the team, Leavitt said.

ARREST: Former Lakewood and USF offensive tackle Theodric "Thed" Watson, who had a tryout with the Giants in May but wasn't signed, was arrested in St. Petersburg on Thursday night on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

Elsewhere

CINCINNATI: Quarterback Ben Mauk had his final appeal for another year of eligibility turned down by the NCAA.

OHIO STate: Cornerback Donald Washington and backup safety Jamario O'Neal were suspended for the first two games for violating team policy.

USC: Mark Sanchez, the projected starter at quarterback, dislocated his left kneecap at practice and left on a cart.

BASKETBALL: Guard Patrick Beverley won't play for Arkansas this season. The school did not specify why. The possibility of Beverly, who played for coach Stan Heath two years ago at Arkansas, transferring to join Heath at USF has been reported each of the past two summers.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.

FSU's Parker speaks for first time on April arrest 08/08/08 [Last modified: Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:05am]

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