Parks Eager to Take Advantage Of 2nd Chance

Former Auburn tight end Ricky Parks talks about his decision to head back to the Plains and try to earn a scholarship for the Tigers.

Hogansville, Ga.--Following a semester at Northeast Mississippi Community College after his dismissal from the Auburn football program for a violation of team rules, tight end Ricky Parks is on his way back to the Plains next semester after getting the invitation to walk on in the spring.

Hoping to earn a scholarship with his play, Parks says that he just wants to prove to the coaching staff and his teammates that he's ready to be a player they can depend on next season.

"First of all I'm very excited," Parks tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "When I heard the news I was so happy. I'm ready to get back. It's important to me because this is where I started. All my friends are there and I know all the fans want to see me back. I know I fit great in that offense. To me, it's where I belong. It's a great fit for me. That's that most important thing to me about going back.

"I have to come on as a walk-on first," he adds. "I just have to show Coach (Gus) Malzahn and the rest of the coaching staff how bad I want it and how bad I want to be there. That's no problem because I know I can do it."

Ricky Parks

A talented tight end prospect who could be an important part of Auburn's offense next season because of his ability to play the H-Back role that senior Jay Prosch has handled so well this year, the 6-4, 250 Parks says that watching how the offense has come together in 2013 has him excited about the possibilities for the future.

"I still know a lot of everything they are doing," Parks notes. "When I get back I'm just going to have to work my butt off to get back into that major role on offense and helping my team out."

Even though he hasn't been part of what has taken place on the field there are few people who have enjoyed Auburn's run more than Parks. A frequent visitor to Jordan-Hare Stadium for games this season, he says it was important for him to be supportive and show he was still part of the family even though he was away.

"It was real tough having to watch it just knowing I was supposed to be a part of the greatness that went on this season," Parks says. "I was there for a lot of games, and the games I wasn't there I was tuned in supporting them every week. Even though I wasn't physically there playing for the team I was still there in heart rooting them on.

"To me that was real important," he adds about being at games this fall. "Just seeing how excited they were to see me when they were running out of the tunnel, to me it felt like they were kind of playing for me. Every time they came out of the tunnel they would say 'we've got you.' I love all those guys. I just had to be there to support them because when I was going through what I went through they were there to support me 100 percent."

Expected to be back in school in January and go through spring practice, Parks says that he's just looking forward to doing more with his second-chance at being a Tiger. Also thankful to the fans who stuck my his side, he adds that he's not going to let them down.

"Being out this season just taught me not to take the great things I have in life for granted," Parks says. "It taught me to appreciate everything, not just football, but life itself.

"I just want to tell all the fans War Eagle and you'll see Ricky Parks in 2014 making big plays," he adds.

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