Auburn Football Newcomers to Watch: No. 10

This incoming freshman has a good chance to contribute to the 2012 Auburn football team.

Auburn, Ala.--Coming in at No. 10 on our list of Auburn football players who have a chance to make an impact in their first season of collegiate game action is tight end Ricky Parks.

One of the more interesting members of the 2012 signee class, Parks is a versatile athlete who spent most of his playing time in high school as a quarterback.

He should have a chance to contribute early to the Tigers for several reasons. First, and foremost, is his combination of size and athletic ability. He arrives at Auburn as the No. 5 ranked tight end prospect in America as rated by, even though he seldom played the position at Callaway High.

Auburn's new offensive coordinator, Scot Loeffler, is expected to make heavy use of the tight ends in their traditional role with a hand on the ground as well as at H-back and, at times, lined up as a fullback. The high school honor student should be able to handle all three assignments if he makes a quick adjustment to college football.

Last season as offensive coordinator at Temple, Loeffler used as many as three tight ends on the field at the same time. That means there could be plenty of playing time available for tight ends on the team not named Philip Lutzenkirchen. the senior who could be the top tight end in the Southeastern Conference this fall.

Another reason the Tigers will be looking to develop depth at the tight end position is the shortage of fullbacks on the roster. With Ladarius Phillips quitting the squad earlier this year the only fullback on the roster is Jay Prosch, a transfer from Illinois, and it is still to be determined if he will be able to play this fall or if he will be required to sit out as a redshirt under NCAA transfer rules.

Ricky Parks was a two-sport star in high school. recruiting analyst Chad Simmons said that he believes Parks can be an impact player in college. "He is so athletic and he is someone that will test in the 40 yard dash at around 4.65 seconds," Simmons stated. "He will take every bit of that speed with him when he is on the field and he may play a little faster.

"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."

That athleticism was also on display over the winter when Parks averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Callaway High basketball team.

If things go as the coaches hope, Parks will be ready to contribute this fall and will be challenging sophomores Brandon Fulse and C.J. Uzomah for playing time.

Newcomer No. 11 Jaquay Williams

Newcomer No. 12 Mike Blakely

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