Busy was an understatement for Jarez Parks over the last several days. He would help his Sebastian (Fla.) River teammates get to the second round of the Florida state playoffs through Friday's season-ending loss to Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland and then he'd gather his family and board a plane for his first official visit of the recruiting process -- to Alabama.
After a long Saturday in Tuscaloosa, where UA kept its perfect record in tact with a 31-3 win over UT-Chattanooga, he spent part of Sunday at Nick Saban's house before the group traveled back to the Sunshine State.
"It was definitely a great experience, I got to see more things than I got to on previous visits, which is pretty awesome," he said. "They took good care of me and my family and we enjoyed the game. It was a little bit cold, but it was a good experience overall dealing with Nick Saban and his family. And most of the players were really genuine people."
Parks, who has a top five of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Clemson, spent time with considerable Crimson Tide staff while in town.
"I met with coach (Tosh) Lupoi, coach (Brent) Key, Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, most of them...they've always spoken to me and kept me in the loop as well," he said. "I actually spoke with coach Saban more on this visit than normal because of the busy schedule. But I talk to the coaches I named constantly.
"They've always been pretty open to me, explaining where they stand. They've always came to the table from the front."
Lupoi, who coaches outside linebackers at UA, envisions the four-star prospect at the second level in college. He saw a glimpse of it in person Friday night, as Parks performed within his usual stand-up role on the edge of a 3-4 defense at Sebastian River (video clips below). But there is the potential for movement within the front-seven should the senior end up in Tuscaloosa for good.
"Most likely, they say I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing now, but if they need me in certain (other) positions I would definitely be an asset," he said. "I'm versatile in their eyes, they feel they can use me at different spots depending on the game plan."
The Parks family got a first-hand look at how much he is coveted by Alabama over the weekend despite it being the first impression of the campus for some.
"My position coach, my aunt, my uncle and my siblings were in love with the program as anyone would (be)," Parks said. "It's an amazing school, an amazing program, just southern hospitality across the board when you think of Alabama and they loved every bit of it."
With one official visit down and a trip to Tallahassee upcoming this weekend, each remaining trip will help with the final analysis before a decision will be made.
"Nothing has changed, but this trip was different because it's an official and you have access to more things, which is pretty awesome," Parks said. "But they've always been the same from the jump, their high-end and want me to participate in their program."
Friday Game Clips