Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Ash's pitch earns Hogs visit from top safety
Arkansas is expected to host highly recruited safety Steven Parker II and his father for the Texas A&M game on Sept. 28 and credit for the visit goes to defensive coordinator Chris Ash.
“Him being so direct about everything he said about his interest in my son and the direction he thought Arkansas was going really got my attention,” said the elder Parker of Ash.
Parker, 6-3, 195, 4.46 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Jenks, Oklahoma is rated a 4-star plus prospect by CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming and has approximately 25 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee.
“I really think having a great relationship with the coaches is what really interests me,” said Parker, who had 74 tackles, 4 interceptions and a forced fumble as a junior. “The coaches, you never know because they might get a new job or they might get fired. That’s one thing that’s still important to me.”
A school with an excellent academic and football tradition is also high on Parker’s list.
“But other than that I feel like every school has outstanding facilities,” Parker said. “The facilities aren’t really something that increases interest or decreases interest.”
Lemming said Parker has outstanding instincts.
He has explosive speed and does a great job of reading the quarterback's eyes and is rarely caught out of position,” Lemming said. “He just seems to know where the ball is at all times.”
The elder played safety for Oklahoma State in 1978 and 1979. Parker said his father has encouraged him to embrace the moment.
“His advice is take it all in because you only have one shot, one opportunity to enjoy this process,” Parker said. “The recruiting process only happens once in your life just like high school football he wants me to enjoy high school while I can and the recruiting process.”
His father also preaches humility.
“He tells me not to get big headed and stay level headed,” Parker said. “Those are things I’m already doing right now .I’m just trying to keep a steady head.”