“It fired us up and makes us want to go out there and become better leaders and pick the younger guys up,” Parks said.
“We need to let them know it will be okay. It is camp and guys’ legs get tired, so we need to pick them up and that’s what we are supposed to do.”
Parks sat back while other veterans took the lead last season, but now he is stepping into their role.
“I was under their wings and I was talking sometimes, but definitely was kind of tuned in and now I am trying to set the tone on defense.
“That is something that is built into me growing up. When they are down give them words of encouragement and things like that.”
The majority of the team has said that the start of this year’s came has gone smoothly and Parks attributes that to experience.
“It’s definitely going smoother because as you get older you kind of know what to expect and what the coaches want day in and day out,” he said.
“It is easier to take control and know what I need to do to get better.
Ideally, that improvement will lead to Parks becoming Arizona’s best playmaker on defense.
“I dream of it a lot, making plays for the defense,” Parks said. “Tra’Mayne made a lot of plays last year like stripping the ball against Washington and a couple of interceptions for touchdowns.
“There are a lot of things I want to do day in and day out as far as what he did and then more.”
Parks goals start with the season opener against UTSA and he can’t help but look at the Roadrunners a bit.
“Right now I am definitely just focused on the next day,” Parks said. “The first game is starting to get into my mind.
“I actually watched their spring game a couple of days ago just to get a feel for the kind of players they have and things they do. I am trying to have a great season and that’s a lot of these guys.”