By KEVIN SAULS
Josh Parry of Sonora has returned somewhat to his football roots to earn a shot at making the NFL roster of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Parry was best known at Sonora High School as a star running back who scored 44 touchdowns from 1993-95 to set a school record that still stands. He also played defense in high school, but he spent his entire collegiate career on the defensive side of the ball as a linebacker at San Jose State from 1996 to 2000.
Now, the Eagles are looking to put him back on offense as a fullback. He leaves Tuesday for the his second mini-camp with the club before the start of summer training camp when roster spots will be decided July 25 at Lehigh University outside Philadelphia.
Parry said he feels he made a good impression during the team's first mini-camp earlier this month.
"Everybody there was impressed with my hands," Parry told The Union Democrat> by telephone from his home in Sacramento. "I didn't drop a ball all week, even in warmups. Nothing hit the ground."
That fact caught the eye both of Eagles head coach Andy Reid and of the team's all-pro quarterback, Donovan McNabb.
Parry said he's grateful to Reid for giving him another chance with the club after his first two tries ended in frustration.
"I'm pretty much like a project for him," Parry said. "He's always liked me and had faith in me."
Parry was undrafted out of San Jose State in the spring of 2001, then signed with the Eagles as a free agent. He was released late in training camp, but was back for another try in 2002 after spending the offseason playing middle linebacker for the Frankfurt (Germany) Galaxy in NFL Europe.
This time, he was stopped by an injury, tearing up a knee in the Eagles' final preseason game against the New York Jets. A year of rehabilitation followed some of it with T.J. Pilchard at BONES Physical Therapy in Sonora.