Parker Collins, a 2013 graduate of North Augusta High School, has a spot on the Los Angeles Rams' pre-season roster.
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound offensive lineman signed a one-year deal with the NFL team Thursday, having gotten the news that day with a discreet handshake from a Rams coach who told him, "Congratulations, you made it," Collins recalled.
He said he expects to play either center or guard. The Rams now have Sean McVay, one of the youngest head coaches in NFL history, at the helm, and hold their training camp in Irvine, California, in Orange County.
"He's bringing some new energy, and it's a really exciting place to be," Collins said, "and I'm just looking forward to working to be on the 53-man roster."
The preseason roster numbers 90, and the team will enter the regular season with a 53-man crew, he said.
Collins made a name for himself in college, playing at Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina, and graduated with a degree in business management.
The Watauga Democrat, Boone's newspaper, reported, "He was a 2016 first-team all-Sun Belt Conference selection by the coaches and the media and was named second-team all-Sun Belt in 2015."
His first NFL experience, earlier this year, was with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as an undrafted free agent.