Jordan Italiano has been named the “Smartest Player in College Football” by NFL.com.
KENT, Ohio - Kent State University football player Andre Parker has become a viral sensation and the talk of campus after he recovered a fumble on a punt and ran the wrong way down the field for nearly 60 yards.
On Friday, his teammates continued to get a hearty chuckle over the gaffe. Even Parker laughed about the confusing play.
"He told everybody that he saw a lot of room, so he forgot which was he was going at first, so he just saw a lot of room and he just kept running," said Demetrius Walton, a member of the Golden Flashes football team.
Walton said he expects Parker will receive some good-natured ribbing during film study on Friday.
"Everybody is gonna laugh at him, but it's like no intentions of hurting his feelings or nothing, just laughing," Walton said.
NewsChannnel5 requested an interview with Parker through the KSU athletic department. A few minutes later, coach Darrell Hazel returned the call and said, "That's not gonna happen. We're focused on Kentucky (the team's next opponent)."
The football folly happened near the end of the first half with Kent State ahead of Towson 24-7.
After KSU punted the football, it deflected off a Towson player.
Parker, a sophomore from Ruckersville, Virginia, grabbed the ball inside the 10-yard line and started sprinted the opposite way down the field.
Adding to the comedy of errors, two Towson players chased after Parker and tackled him after he raced 58 yards.
Kent State students Katrinka Stephens and Brittany Eckenroad were spectators inside Dix Stadium and were completely confused.
"The crowd was rooting for him because, I guess, nobody understood what was happening, and after it happened, they're like, 'Wait, he was going the wrong way,'" Stephens said.
"All of a sudden my friend was like, 'I don't think he's doing that right.'" And, the guy were like, 'No! He's going the wrong way,'" Eckenroad said.
The bizarre play was featured repeatedly on ESPN and social media continues to buzz over it.
"Even though it just happened last night, I've seen it a lot on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites," said Drake Bailey, a KSU student from Maryland.
While the wrong-way run has certainly been an attention grabber on the Web, the play never counted. A muffed punt cannot be advanced or retreated.
Kent State ended up winning the game 41-21.
"I'm so happy that play didn't cost us the game because everybody is already talking about it, but then he really would have gotten talked about," Stephens said.
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