Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Parker Ehinger Serving to Protect Chiefs on Offensive Line

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Parker Ehinger Serving to Protect Chiefs on Offensive Line

Article excerpt

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs rookie Parker Ehinger grew up wanting to serve and protect his community as a police officer. It makes sense as an offensive lineman his job is protecting his quarterback.

"I grew up in a small town, but the police officers ran the community so well, they gave back to the community," Ehinger said. "Serving and protecting the community is a very big part to me."

The sense of accountability and responsibility that inspired Ehinger's dreams of a career in law enforcement also motivated him on the football field. The tall, skinny youth from Rockford, Mich., is now a hulking offensive lineman poised to break into the Chiefs starting lineup at left guard.

"I started out playing tight end and I wasn't very big," Ehinger said. "I was a tall, skinny guy. I developed kind of late, started hitting the weight room pretty hard, started putting on muscle. I put on 70 pounds in one year."

The 6-foot-7-inch Ehinger weighed just under 280 pounds when he arrived at the University of Cincinnati. He continued bulking up slowly to 325 pounds, a weight he says allows him to play his best.

"It's the hard work factor," he said. "I put dedication and hard work into everything I do, whether it was school in college or football. I spent a lot of time in the film room studying my opponents, studying myself, master my techniques. It takes a lot, it's a lot of hard work."

Part of Ehinger's hard work in college was pursuing a degree in criminal justice. He served a five-month internship with the Cincinnati Police Department to get a flavor for the job of a big- city officer of the law.

"A lot of people have told me, 'I wouldn't want to get pulled over by you,' just me being 6-7, 325 pounds," Ehinger said.

"You grow up watching 'Cops' and all those TV shows, getting a chance to see it first hand, some of that stuff out there is crazy," he explained. "My mom doesn't want me to be a police officer. It's already a dangerous thing I'm already doing. It's fun, it was very fun for me, very interesting. I like that field and background. …

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