Parker to Return for Senior Season

Jan. 15, 2003

EUGENE - University of Oregon wide receiver Samie Parker will return for his senior year rather than leave school early for the NFL draft.

The 5-10, 177-pound Long Beach, Calif., junior led the Ducks with 49 catches and eight touchdown receptions a year ago as a 13-game starter in addition to accumulating 724 receiving yards. Only five other players in the Pacific-10 Conference caught more scoring passes a year ago than the 2002 honorable mention all-conference choice.

Parker was instrumental in his team's early-season success, grabbing 26 passes for 426 yards and four scores during the first six games when Oregon recorded a 6-0 ledger. He enters his final season 12th on the school's career touchdown receptions list (12 TDs), 14th in receiving yards (1,472 yards) and 21st on the Ducks' all-time receptions list (90). However he stands only 23 catches shy of breaking into the school's all-time top 10.

He joins free safety Keith Lewis in opting to return to school for their senior seasons while junior running back Onterrio Smith and tight end George Wrighster decided to forgo their final years of eligibility to enter the draft.

'Obviously I'm very pleased that both Samie and Keith have decided to stay in school,' Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti said. 'I think they will both benefit from their decisions in the long run as well as the short term.

'They already have accomplished a lot of good things throughout their careers but I believe they have the potential to do some great things. I am excited they have decided to contribute to next year's success.'

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