Parrish standing firm

With one starter graduating and the second a rising senior, Alabama needs to add athletes capable of handling the crucial safety position. <br><br>And though Jarod Parrish is still being recruited hard by other schools, he's holding firm to his commitment to sign with the Tide.

Parrish committed to sign with Alabama months ago, but that hasn't stopped the recruiting calls from other big-time programs. "I'm still getting recruited heavily by both Tennessee and Georgia Tech," he told Monday night.

Parrish, 6-3, 180 pounds, has accounted for more than 500 yards rushing and six touchdowns for his Chattooga High School team. He's also thrown for more than 400 yards and six more TDs. "I think I've had a good year so far," Parrish said.

Parrish attended the NIKE camp held in Tuscaloosa last summer and committed to the Tide soon afterwards.

Clocked at 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, Parrish is playing quarterback for his Summerville, Georgia team. In college he could play either wide receiver or defensive back, but observers at this past summer's NIKE combine say he looks like a prototype safety.

Parrish plays both ways in high school, picking off four passes this year and making several touchdown-saving tackles. "I'm focused on winning our game this Friday night against Model High School from Rome," Parrish said. "If they win, they get to go to the playoffs."

Summerville is in the Northwest corner of Georgia, not really more than a three-hour drive to either Knoxville, Atlanta or Tuscaloosa. But Tide fans needn't worry about Parrish's commitment. "No way," he said firmly. "Those other schools will not be able to change my mind."

Since arriving in Tuscaloosa Tide Head Coach Dennis Franchione has placed an emphasis on recruiting athletes with character as well as talent. Parrish appears to fit the mold.

Parrish has a 37-inch vertical jump and is a very good student in the classroom.

Other potential defensive backs committed to the Tide include cornerbacks Chris Felder (5-11, 170, 4.49, Wilcox Central, Camden, AL) and Eric Gray (5-11, 180, 4.5, Trinity West Morgan).

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