It has been a rewarding — if challenging — journey for the former Lovett standout, who has established himself as a starter on the Harvard offensive line at left tackle as well as a senior leader for the Crimson.
“It’s been like anyone else’s college experience,” Sebastian said. “It’s been tough at times, it’s been rewarding at times. Last season, I had a good season football-wise and I think I’m going to have a really good year this year. I’ve gotten bigger and stronger and I’m looking forward to this senior season. Football has been a part of my life since I was 8 or 9 years old, so it’s going to be weird this season — not potentially having it around any more.”
It hasn’t been easy road for the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Sebastian, who had to adjust to the rigorous academic environment of the Ivy League.
However, he said he has successfully made the transition and has grown as a person as a result.
“Initially, it was tough,” Sebastian said. “School is the most important thing at Harvard, of course — football comes second. When school’s going well, I play well on the field. My freshman year, school was going tough. Harvard expects so much more than they did from you in high school.
“So it was very trying and very tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Over the last few years, I’ve matured — not only as a student and a football player, but as a person. And the trials I had with academics my freshman year and sophomore year have shaped me into a better person, and it really started to come to fruition my junior and into my senior year. I really feel like it’s been a great experience.”
Sebastian also had to learn a new position as he was moved to the offensive line when he arrived at Harvard as a freshman after playing mostly tight end during his high school career at Lovett.
“I wanted to play tight end, but the team needed me to play tackle at Harvard and I took that role.” Sebastian said. “It was tough for me initially, but I persevered.”
Sebastian also bulked up considerably for his new role on the offensive line, going from about 230 pounds when he entered Harvard to 280 today.
“I’ve come into myself weight-wise,” Sebastian said. “I did a lot of work in the weight room and eating a lot more, that’s a big part of it. It made me a little uncomfortable at first. But, I adjusted and now it’s worth the price. I feel great and I’m excited about the season.”
Sebastian emerged as a key player for Harvard as a junior last year after entering the starting lineup at left tackle in the fourth game of the season and starting the last seven games of the 2012 campaign.
He helped lead the Crimson to an 8-2 record and a runner-up finish behind Penn in the Ivy League standings.
“I had a really good year, playing against some tough competition,” Sebastian said. “It was a successful seven games. I felt like while I was up there [in the starting lineup], things clicked well for us and the transition was pretty painless.”
Harvard coach Tim Murphy said he is impressed with the progress that Sebastian has made over the last three years.
“Parker is one of the most improved football players in our program and has made the transition from a big high school tight end to a legitimate Division I offensive lineman,” Murphy said. “At 6-4, 280, he is among the most athletic and physical linemen on an offensive line that will average 6-5, 295 in 2013.
“Because of his work ethic and overall character, Parker is universally respected by everyone in the Harvard football program and we expect him to have an outstanding senior year.”
Lovett coach Mike Muschamp is also impressed with how his former player has established himself on the college level.
"Parker was one of the hardest working kids that we had when he was here [at Lovett]," Muschamp said. "He had a goal of playing college football and he worked extremely hard to attain that. Since he has left here and gone to Harvard, I know that he has continued to work towards helping Harvard."