Often when a junior receives the type of recruiting attention Parrker Westphal has, the process can quickly become overwhelming. As the father of the coveted cornerback from Illinois, Brian Westphal has worked hard to keep that from happening and is doing everything he can to ensure his son educates himself on every option, including visits, before a signature reaches paper in a little over a year.
“I’m going to do everything I can to get to as many of them as we possibly can,” said Westphal’s Father. “Obviously, realistically we’ll probably get to a point where we do come up with some sort of list.”
“To me he just has to see as many of them as he possibly can to be able to make the right decision. It’s a life long lasting decision and he needs to be the right one for him to be able to make it and I need to be able to do what I can to make those opportunities available for him, which means a lot of driving. It’s a small price to have to pay to know that in the end hes going to be comfortable.”
Comfort and consistency from a coaching staff will major factors in Westphal’s eventual decision but not those are far from the only criteria. As is the case with many talented, young football players, the NFL is a goal down the line and for Westphal, a serious goal.
“What is the factor is that he likes the program, that he fits in the program, that the program wants him as much as he wants to be there,” said Westphal’s Father. “That hes going to have an opportunity to compete. That it’s a competitive program or it can become a competitive program. Its all about him. He's the one who's got to be there. He's the one who's going to be there for three to five years. He has a desire and a goal to get into the NFL and I don’t have a problem with that. I support that.”
Regardless of what the percentages say for high school athletes reaching the NFL and then college football players reaching the NFL, Westphal fancies himself a good student and his father expects that to translate right off to college.
“Academically I don’t think its going to be an issue,” said Westphal’s Father. “Hes great at high school, always been really good at school and has gotten more often than not A’s on everything. I don’t expect college to be any different.”
Wrapping up the weekend in Ann Arbor, Westphal leaves knowing this visit was key as he and the Wolverines continue developing their already strong relationship.
“Being able to witness the fan base up close and personal, that helped them,” said Westphal.
“I’ve pretty much found mostly everything out. The coaches are cool. It’s a family setting. They always have their family with them and kids walking around. And then the fan base theres 112,000 people in there, averages 100,000 people.”
Competition remains for Westphal
Ohio State: “They’ve got similar facilities,” said Westphal. “They’ve got a new coaching staff so I need to get to know the coaches more and then just see the team. And then they can’t compete for a bowl game this year cause they’re suspended so I’ll be able to evaluate them next year.”
Michigan State: “The coaches there are real cool,” said Westphal. “They’ve been there for about four years I believe. DB coach, Coach Barnett is real cool. He coaches them up. I went to their practice one time and hes not a yeller, unnecessary in your ear.”
Illinois: “My ex teammate Robbie Bain he goes to U of I, Aarons going to go to U of I, a lot of my teammates will be at U of I,” said Westphal. “It’d be cool if I went there with my friends but sometimes you got to choose your own path.”
Nebraska: “They’ve got similar facilities too,” said Westphal. “They’ve got a hospital under their stadium or something, attached to it. Then their educational system is in the stadium so everything is right next to each other so I don’t have to walk that far.”
Alabama: “Coach Saban is a good coach,” said Westphal. “He coaches the five star recruits. He's a great DB coach.”
Georgia: “I haven’t been able to talk to them that much but they’ve been in contact,” said Westphal.
Written story by Kyle Bogeschutz