Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Off campus experience startles father
A part of the visit to Arkansas that wasn’t on campus might have made the biggest impact on Steven Parker Sr., the father of highly recruited safety Steven Parker.
Parker, 6-3, 195, 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Jenks, Okla., along with his parents and sister made the trip to Fayetteville on Saturday.
After several hours into their visit, the elder Parker took his three year old daughter back to the hotel shortly before the Texas A&M game after the long day wore on her.
Around the third quarter, he started his way back to Razorback Stadium to pick up his son and wife and stopped to ask how to get back near the stadium
“I pulled over and talked to a highway patrolman and told him who I was and he said ‘Tell your son we could really use him’, “ Parker Sr. said. “You could’ve drove a tractor trailer in my mouth. That right there, I was so overly impressed with that right there. I was like man are you kidding me. Arkansas loves their football. A person has to stop and wonder do I want to go anywhere else.”
Earlier in the day the Parkers were given a tour of the campus. The academic program was tremendous, said Parker.
“The young lady, I don’t remember her name she gave us some directions,” Parker said. “I’m at a position were I’m saying ‘Man, Steven you need to build a relationship with her because I think she could get your doctorate degree’.”
Parker Sr. believes the head coach is a major player in where a prospect should attend college.
“I tend to basically to go whatever coach is best fit for him,” he said. “If you feel good about the coach and you can work your way to it whether you’re a freshmen, sophomore or a junior. That’s my position for that right there.”
Parker, who’s rated a 4-star plus by national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, had 74 tackles, 4 interceptions, 6 pass breakups and a forced fumble as a junior. Defensive coordinator Chris Ash is his lead recruiter.
“The football facilities were state of the art,” Parker Sr. said. “Second to none.”
Judging by the ride home, Parker said his son would definitely be back to take an official visit to Arkansas.