Despite a 1-7 record this season, the University of Rhode Island football team’s junior linebacker Adam Parker has made a great impact on the field.

He has totaled 68 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery-return touchdown in the seven games this season. Parker has averaged 8.5 tackles per game this season for the Rams and has 211 total tackles in his three-year collegiate career. He has taken over as one of the leaders on the team this season.

“The coaches, the players needed somebody to fill the void after Andrew Bose graduated and I wholeheartedly stepped in and played my role as a junior and veteran on the team,” said Parker. “I definitely consider myself as one of the leaders on the team.”

Parker learned a lot from Bose in two years as teammates. “Mentally, Bose really propelled my knowledge of the game,” said Parker. “He helped me figure out coverages, line schemes in the pass and the run game so I’m thankful for what Bose was able to teach me in a short time playing with him.”

Parker attended Taft High School in Connecticut where he joined the wrestling and football teams and reached the 3rd New England Class A Prep School Championship. While in high school, Parker was named to the All-League team in 2009-2012 and All-State team in 2011, according to GoRhody.com. He believes that playing on the wrestling team helped him learn basic fundamentals to being an effective football player.

“Players in the NFL who have a wrestling background like Ray Lewis, who is one of the greatest linebackers of all-time, I definitely think it helped me to stay low and finish plays,” he said.

Parker was named to the 2015 CollegeSportsMadness.com CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Second Team prior to the start of the season. “It’s definitely a great honor and it’s always a good thing when your hard work and dedication is recognized,” he said. “However, I see it as motivation to get first-team All-Conference. Second-team All-Conference is not the highest point I want to reach in my college career.”

In a 37-20 home loss against the University of Albany last fall, Parker recorded a career-high 15 tackles. In that season, he started 11 of the 12 games and finished second on the team with 102 tackles.

“I always look to be a productive player, so making a lot of tackles and plays is very important to me,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I’m looking at the wins and loss column. Wins and losses take precedence over my personal stats.”

Last Saturday, the Rams saw their 17-0 lead against the University of New Hampshire disappear on the road before ending with a tough 20-17 loss. “Of course it’s a very tough loss and we don’t like losing after being up by 17 in the first half,” said Parker. “In the first half, we came out and realized that we can be one of the best defenses in the conference.”

The Rams’ defense held New Hampshire’s offense to 1-for-6 on third down, and forced four possessions of three plays or fewer in the first half, according to GoRhody.com. “You always look for some kind of positives in a negative situation,” Parker said. “I guess we can call it a moral victory because we learned a great lesson from that game. We know we can do it, we just got to finish against a premier program.”

The Rams will host Villanova University for family weekend next Saturday and Stony Brook University on senior day the following week.

“Going into next week, we know that we have the talent and ability to shut teams out, we just have to put a 60-minute game together,” said Parker.