Ever since Jordan Parker first stepped onto the California campus this past June for the Bears’ prospect camp, he’s been wowed by Sonny Dykes’s program. During the camp, it hit him: He could be playing on that field. He could be dressing in that locker room. He could be lifting in that weight room.
Parker’s been patiently awaiting an offer, getting his work done in the classroom and on the field. On Monday, he finally heard the words he’s been waiting to hear: He now has an offer.
“It means a lot, because they’re one of the first schools to start talking to me, and really getting involved in the whole recruiting process,” said the Pittsburg (Calif.) defensive back.
The Bears like Parker – a physical four-star prospect who stands at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds – as a corner.
“If you come in, you can get a chance,” said Parker. “It’s all about how you perform, and if I perform well, I have a chance to play. The best players will get on the field.”
Last season, Parker – who also plays basketball for the Pirates – had five carries for 46 yards and 23 catches for 264 yards and five touchdowns on offense, while tallying 32 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a team-high five interceptions for 72 return yards. He also deflected 10 passes and recovered one fumble. Parker returned four kickoffs for a total of 94 yards, and 21 punts for 132 yards.
Before Parker got the offer from the Bears – which adds to a list that includes Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, UNLV, San Jose State, USC and Washington State – he’d been hearing a lot from the Bruins, Trojans and Sun Devils.
“USC, I went up there on Junior Day, and I liked it. I like the coaches on the staff,” Parker said on Sunday at the Kenion Training 7-on-7 Kickoff in San Ramon, Calif. “UCLA, I talk to UCLA’s staff a lot, so we’re like a family already.”
Since that week in June, though, he’s also gotten to know Cal defensive backs coach Greg Burns, who extended the offer on Monday.
“They love that I handle business both on and off the field, and he likes how I carry myself,” said Parker, who got to learn just what kind of coach Burns was during the camp last summer. “He likes tenacity. He likes people that want to get to the ball and go for the ball. He likes people that are hungry to get the ball.
“He’s chill. He’s a laid-back coach, but he knows what he wants, and he’s always making sure that you know that during the drills.”
Parker said that he definitely plans on visiting Berkeley for Junior Day on Feb. 21, and he also said earlier this week that he plans on hitting up Arizona State, as well. He’s already been to Tempe on an unofficial two years ago, and now that he’s seen the Sun Devils, Trojans and Bears up close, he said Cal came out very favorably.
“Definitely up there. Great facility,” Parker said.
If Cal offering a Pittsburg defensive back sounds familiar, it should. The Bears are among the top schools for Parker’s four-star teammate, Shurod Thompson, and the two have definitely been talking about playing together at the next level.
“We talk about it every day,” Parker said. “It’s big. We’ve got great chemistry as a safety and a corner, and it would be awesome to go play at the next level together, too.”
Proximity to home doesn’t hurt, either.
“It would mean a lot,” Parker said of playing in front of family and friends. “A lot of people could come to the games every time.”