Family on the Sidelines

1 decade 11 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, October 28 2007 Oct 28, 2007 Sunday, October 28, 2007 10:09:40 PM CDT October 28, 2007 in Tiger Talk

The Tigers newest star took a non-typical path to Mizzou. He's on his way to being one of the most exciting players in Mizzou football history and he's still in his first season.

Don't doubt Jeremy Maclin's determination, he has family on his side. September 1st, 2007 a red shirt freshman in his first college game in his hometown of St. Louis. A punt return for a touchdown and a receiving touchdown, 227 all-purpose yards.

 "He's one of the fastest I've ever seen. He can fly," said Sean Weatherspoon.

 "When he's at the top of his game the sky is the limit for him. Anything can happen for the kid," said Missouri senior receiver Will Franklin.

Anything can happen because anything has. Jeremy Maclin wears a nine on his back. When he was 9 years old he met Jeff and Cindy Parres, and they changed his life.

 "He was a sweet 9 year old kid. He liked to play outside and wanted to play football so we made that happen for him," said Jeremy Maclin's surrogate mom Cindy Parres.

"When I was coaching him in little league football he was 9 years old and just through the course of 3 or 4 months you could see the struggles at home were tough," said Jeff Parres.

Maclin's biological father never played a part in his life and struggles at home led to him spending more time with the Parres family.

"My mother and my two brothers. I love them to death. We did as much as we could. Their environment is so much more homey. I mean it was what you thought about what home life would be like," said Maclin.

A home Maclin decided to stay near. When college recruiters throughout the country wanted him, he chose Mizzou.

 "He saw the importance of leading a good life. Doing well in school. Keeping his focus. He's a well rounded kid, not just a good athlete," said Jeff Parres.

Something Maclin proved when he blew out his knee before the 2006 season.

"It was devastating for me because I had such high expectations coming in," said Maclin.

As he's done his entire life, Maclin used determination to come back better than ever.

 "It's a thrill to see him do as well as he is. Frankly, I'm surprised. I knew Jeremy was good. I got a sense for it, but I'm thrilled that he's doing as well as he has," said Jeff Parres.

 "I don't know what I'd be doing right now if it wasn't for them. I might be in college right now, I might not be," said Maclin.

The Parres family says the rewards run both ways.

"He's such a blessing to our family. He's shown us so many things just in general he's just a good person. He's just a well rounded boy. I am proud for him to accomplish what he has with his life," said Cindy.

"It's not just a family giving to the kid. The kid gives back. He's a great kid. He's motivated, he's driven, he's a good student. The success Jeremy's enjoyed is more on his shoulders than it is ours," said Jeff.

 His success is gaining national attention, but to the Parres', he's still a kid playing football.

 "I look at him now and he looks exactly like he did when he played junior football for Kirkwood JFL. It looks just like he's 9," said Cindy.

 Maclin says he likes to send text messages out of the blue thanking Cindy and Jeff for everything they've done for him. Maclin considers himself part of two families with two older brothers and two younger brothers with the last name Parres.

Maclin scored another touchdown in Saturday's Tiger win over Iowa State.

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