Alabama long snapper Ryan Parris’ college football career may be over before it truly begins. Not because of NCAA infractions or team violations.
Parris would take part in just two special teams plays during Saturday’s A-Day game, but for someone who doesn’t know if he’ll ever regain his full sight, he didn’t take it for granted.
A 6-foot, 209-pound walk-on, Parris’ vision had regressed to the point where he couldn’t read the first letter on the eye chart.
If that wasn’t indication enough, Butch Parris, Ryan’s father, said Ryan could see the eye technician’s hand, but couldn’t count how many fingers she held up — just two feet away from his face.
The vision in his left eye had regressed to the point of legal blindness — just six days before his first A-Day game.
The Parris’ can recall the first hint that Ryan’s eye started to take the ultimate turn for the worst, citing November’s Alabama-LSU game as the beginning of a possible end.
“We had some friends we were tailgating with, and he showed up and his eye looked terrible,” Ryan’s father told AL.com.
Ryan isn’t on scholarship and was hardly a lock to make the team this fall. Still, for someone who’s fighting to maintain his eyesight, fighting for a roster spot sounds easy by comparison.