Parker was a high school star in Los Angeles. He chose Texas A&M over UCLA and Washington because he felt College Station would offer fewer distractions than his home city or Seattle. As it turned out, he ended up with a major distraction: a daughter, Alashea, now just shy of three, who lived with Parker and three other Aggies for much of his sophomore season. Father and daughter both took away plenty from the experience: Sirr gained maturity and Alashea learned from Dad's roommates how to gum the meat off a barbecued rib.
Parker rushed for more than 1,800 yards in his first three seasons—including 704 as a sleep-deprived sophomore—but after pulling up lame this fall, he struggled. He sat out practices trying to save himself for Saturdays, but that didn't do much good because, he says, "I kept trying to come back too soon." His hamstring finally mended after he sat out the Texas Tech game on Oct. 24.
In Saturday's win Parker and Stewart both, made up for the disappointments of their senior seasons. Stewart even achieved a goal that he had long since forgotten. "When I went to Tennessee, I wanted to help the Vols win the national tide," he said. "I think we kind of did that."