Thursday, March 21, 2013
A&M trip opens Watch List safety's eyes
By Bob Przybylo
The secret is out about ESPN Watch List safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks), and now Parker is starting to get out himself.
Parker has become familiar with his home state with several unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But with spring break this week, he is venturing to the Lone Star State with trips to Texas A&M and Texas in back-to-back days.
ESPN Watch List defensive back Steven Parker said "things have changed a lot" after he visited Texas A&M.
He started his trip with a visit to College Station, Texas, on Wednesday to see the Aggies. Even though he didn’t go on a day when A&M was practicing, it was still a very worthwhile trek.
“I got to be there as they went through film studies,” Parker said. “It was cool being in the same room as college defensive backs and see what they go through on a daily basis. How they teach them through film what’s right and what’s wrong. I really liked it.”
Parker has been primarily recruited by defensive backs coach Marcel Yates and has talked to him on a couple of occasions. Parker only received the offer from the Aggies two weeks ago, so he is still developing that relationship.
Not just with Yates, as Wednesday was Parker’s first opportunity to talk with A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin.
“It was real good to talk with him,” Parker said. “He’s a great coach. They answered everything I had to ask. It was a great time.”
One of his favorite things had nothing to do with football. Despite his numerous trips to OU and OSU, Parker said he has yet to fully see their campuses outside of the football portion. Parker enjoyed getting to see all of A&M from the student union to the cafeteria and everywhere in between.
It was only a one-day visit, but it has put the Aggies in a great spot with Parker moving forward.
“Things have changed a lot,” Parker said. “I knew I’d probably like A&M, but it has really opened my eyes. It’s a great college town and a great experience.”
Kyle Field has a reputation of being one of the best venues in college football and it lived up to the billing for Parker.
“It was great to see,” Parker said. “It’s so huge. They talked about the 12th man and what that all means. I learned a lot. And then they were talking about all the changes they’re doing. It was great.”
Things are not slowing down for Parker, either. Not even a couple of hours after his visit, Parker added a Vanderbilt offer. He already has an Alabama offer to go along with a bevy of others.
Parker is visiting Texas and then said he is not sure what is next. He has planned to see spring practices at OSU and OU but has nothing set in stone outside of that. The Sooners were the first team to offer Parker last May, while OSU quickly followed last summer.
After a relatively slow fall, Parker’s offer total has skyrocketed in the last couple of months, highlighted by a four-offer day two weeks ago with A&M, Texas, Utah and Memphis.