Television analysts were still sizing up the second-overall selection when University of Calgary Dinos star Anthony Parker glanced at his buzzing cellphone and bolted out of the room.
A few moments later, the fleet-footed receiver was crossing the parking lot at McMahon Stadium to shake hands with his new employer.
Never one to shy away from a draft-day deal, Stamps GM John Hufnagel completed a six-pick swap with the B.C. Lions and snagged Parker with the third-overall selection in Sunday’s CFL Draft.
“I think they made the right choice, and I’m going to prove it,” Parker said. “When a team is not only willing to pick you in the first round, but trade away some picks and move up and down to get you, that just goes to how much they believe in you. And I’m hoping I can do them right once we get to camp. It’s an investment. It just goes to show how much they want me to be here.
“I’m very excited to be here, and I love the fact that they picked me.”
Parker, 21, will move his gear from the Dinos’ locker-room at the north end of McMahon — where he gathered with a roomful of teammates and supporters to watch coverage of Sunday’s draft — to the Stamps’ headquarters at the other end of the football facility.
He’ll also follow the footsteps of a couple of family members that earned their paycheques for the Red & White.
His father, running back Anthony Parker Sr., carried the pigskin for the Stamps in 1990, while his uncle, Andy Jonassen, was a defensive lineman that spent five seasons in Calgary.
“It’s definitely exciting. It’s one of those things that’s,
I guess, a lineage,” Parker said. “I’m hoping I can make them proud while wearing this jersey.”
There was rampant speculation the Edmonton Eskimos would snag Parker with the second-overall pick in Sunday’s prospect-grab, but the Green & Gold selected Rice offensive tackle Scott Mitchell instead. The Eskimos eventually acquired the fifth-overall pick and called the name of fellow U of C slotback Nathan Coehoorn.
Moments after greeting his first-round pick in the Stamps’ football offices, Hufnagel told reporters Parker’s raw athleticism is what set him apart.
“With Anthony, he has excellent strength. He was second-strongest (among receivers in the bench press drill) at the evaluation camp. He was the fastest. He was the most explosive,” Hufnagel said. “I’m sure he’ll have a great CFL career.
“We selected the man that was at the top of our board.”
CFL Central Scouting had the speedy receiver listed second — behind Mitchell — in their final pre-draft rankings.
Parker was a two-time Canada West all-star during his stint with the Dinos. He’ll now join a star-studded Stamps receiving corps that also includes Romby Bryant, Nik Lewis and Ken-Yon Rambo.
“I’m excited to put on a show here in this stadium again,” Parker said.
He’s not the only one anxious about what the future holds. Anthony Parker Sr. wiped away tears as he posed for photos with his son.
“When we talk, I always say ‘Back when I played’ and then I think, boy, that was a long time ago,” Parker Sr. said.
“I can’t wait to see him play.
I want to see what he looks like at the next level.”
The Stamps also selected Dinos running back Matt Walter in the fifth round, although he’ll return to school next year.