The No. 9 story in Aggie Athletics in 2018 is Parker being selected by the Oakland Raiders
EAST GREENSBORO (December 26, 2018) – Brandon Parker went from an overlooked 260-pound, 6-foot-6 offensive lineman benching pressing 245 pounds out of Kannapolis, N.C., to the third 65th overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders on April 27, 2018. Parker spent five seasons with North Carolina A&T and transformed into a 6-7, 305-pound three-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference offensive lineman of the year and a two-time Associated Press All-American who benched press 225 pounds 22 times during his NFL Pro Day workout at N.C. A&T.
Parker also went from one scholarship offer (N.C. A&T) to having the Raiders trade up to take him with the first pick of the third round. It was the earliest an Aggie had gone in the draft since Jamain Stephens, another extremely tall Aggies lineman, went 29th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. Parker left N.C. A&T as the most accomplished offensive lineman in school history.
In an award that usually has its voters use their votes to select players who either pass, catch or carry the football, Parker finished 10th in the nation for the Walter Payton Award for the best offensive player in the Division I-Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Parker also helped the Aggies finish 12-0 during his senior season while also leading the Aggies to three MEAC titles and two HBCU national championships.
As an Aggie, Parker was a star left tackle. As a rookie, he played right tackle for the Raiders. He has played in 14 games as a rookie with 11 starts going into the final week of the 2018 NFL season. He took over the starting right tackle position after an injury to Donald Penn in early October. Parker has started 11 straight weeks since his first start on Oct. 7.
Before leaving for Oakland, Parker completed his degree in electrical engineering and was married to Dominique Green. Parker attributes much of his success to his family, friends, and schools that did not see his potential. He grew up in a dedicated sports family. Both his mother (Regina Parker) and his father (George Curtis Parker III) participated in athletics at the University of North Carolina. His sister Jasmine played women’s basketball at N.C. A&T. His athletic family keeps him inspired, the fact he was overlooked keeps him focused.
“It humbled me and made me think maybe I'm not as good as I thought I was, and on the other hand it made me work harder,” said Parker. “I was like, ‘they don't want me? Cool.’ That's what's made me work as hard as I have to be the best.”
No NFL team overlooked him as so many college programs did.
"It is eye-opening, coming in realizing that you're not that big dog anymore you gotta work to become that big dog,” Parker told Fox8 in October.