Official Visitor Solid On His Choice

Ricky Parks discusses his official visit, conversations with Gene Chizik about a new offensive coordinator and more in this football recruiting report that includes game video of the four-star recruit.

Hogansville, Ga.--Four-star tight end recruit Ricky Parks got plenty of attention from Auburn's coaches and players as the only prospect in for an official visit over the weekend.

Parks said he enjoyed the visit and left the same way he entered it as a firm commitment to sign with Coach Gene Chizik's football team on Feb. 1st.

Noting that he had fun hanging out with his player host, freshman quarterback Kiehl Frazier, and other members of the team, Parks talked to Chizik about the direction of the Auburn offense and who will be the new coordinator. That is a subject of interest for Auburn fans, too.

"He told me about getting a new coordinator and what the future is going to be like," the Callaway High star said. "He told me they are trying to get back to the top and make it to the national championship to get that crystal ball again."

Parks noted that Chizik didn't tell him who would be named the new offensive coordinator or when, but told the prospect to expect a visit from the new Auburn coach in the near future. ""He said we would see soon."

Parks, who played quarterback as a junior and senior, said he is hoping the Tigers run an offensive style that features the tight end, the position he played as a sophomore and the position he is expected to play for the Tigers. From talking to Chizik, the high school senior expects that to be the case.

The recruit said he is looking forward to returning to his natural position in college. "It won't be a hard transition because I know it," he said of playing tight end.

Parks worked in his official visit in around his basketball schedule. He plays power forward for Callaway High. "I am doing okay," he said. "I am averaging about 15 points and 10 rebounds per game."

The Auburn commitment said he is through with visits despite earlier talk that he would be taking an official visit to Alabama the last weekend before signing day. "I don't need to visit Bama," he said.

Parks, who is ranked as the No. 5 tight end prospect in the country by Scout.com, said he is rock solid with his Auburn commitment, just like he was in June when he announced he would play for the Tigers. He added that there is no reason to visit anywhere else.

Ricky Parks is shown during his senior season at Callaway High School.

Commenting on why he has been so firm on his choice of the Tigers despite being recruited by a variety of other colleges, he said, "The family, it is a big family. We are all sticking together."

Parks noted that he wants to study sports management at Auburn and that he is doing well in the classroom at Callaway High. "I am going to graduate with honors. I am excited about that."

Tiger Ticket Extra: On Saturday in Auburn the Tigers had their first junior day of the year. One of the visitors was linebacker Reuben Foster from Troup County High in LaGrange, Ga., which is located close to Hogansville. Parks said that he hung out some with Parks, a five-star prospect who was an unusually early commitment to Alabama. Since then Foster has made several unofficial visits to Auburn, and was back again for the junior day. After that Foster hung out with his friend, Auburn freshman wide receiver Quan Bray. Parks noted he is trying to get the linebacker to join him at Auburn.

Because his team needed him at quarterback, Parks hasn't played tight end for two seasons. He admitted he liked playing the glamour position. "It got to be pretty fun getting to call all of the shots on the plays," he said. In the Georgia North-South All-Star Game at the end of his senior season he played linebacker, but noted he is certain he will be a tight end/H-back with the Tigers.

Scout.com recruiting analyst Chad Simmons has this take on the Auburn commitment: "He is so athletic and he is someone that will test in the 40 yard dash at around 4.65 seconds. He will take every bit of that speed with him when he is on the field and he may play a little faster.

Scout projects him to play tight end on the next level and he has the tools to be a guy that has a good chance of playing on Sunday at that position. He is so talented and versatile though that some schools see him at other positions.

"He can do a lot well on the football field and he has a lot of upside once he settles in on the next level," Simmons said. "As a tight end, he has very soft hands, he can really stretch the field, he will be able to create mismatches, and he will be a weapon inside the red zone.

"His frame will allow him to add another 25-30 pounds comfortably while maintaining his speed and flexibility," Simmons added. "He is so athletic and he is graceful on the football field, but he likes to play physical, too."

Video of Ricky Parks in action at quarterback vs. Manchester High School:


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