- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Junior college offensive tackle Damien Parris (San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa College) was surprised during his official visit to Kansas this past weekend, and that is a very good thing for the Jayhawks.
"It changed my mind about Kansas," Parris said. "I was thinking there wouldn't be much there, but the visit was eye-opening. I had a good time and enjoyed myself a lot. It's really a college town -- not too big and not too small. It surprised me a lot."
The trip to Kansas was the third official visit for Parris, who has also taken trips to San Jose State and Kentucky and will visit Houston on Dec. 14. After that, Parris said he will see how the recruiting process plays out and eventually take his fifth official visit in January before signing in February.
"A lot of schools are coming into the mix, so I'm keeping that fifth visit wide open," Parris said. "I'll decide which school I'll take it to and that will be a big visit."
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound tackle holds eight scholarship offers, but some recent coaching movement could make things especially interesting. He said the Louisiana Tech coaching staff began expressing interest before head coach Sonny Dykes made the move to California. Now, Cal is showing interest in the big tackle.
The same situation could arise across the country, as former Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart offered Parris a scholarship before taking the same position with South Florida. Parris, originally from Florida, said he would welcome any interest from the Bulls, but location won't play a major role in his decision.
"It's about what's the best fit for me academically and athletically," he said. "I'm going to take the visit this weekend and see where it goes from there. I want to go home during the holiday season and talk things over with my mom. My plan is to make my decision three days before signing day."