Mitch Parsons received an offer from University of Colorado head coach Jon Embree on the field prior to the Buffs' game against Arizona in early November. Parsons was on campus for an unofficial visit that day.
Parsons said it was a dream come true for him, and it's looking like he will have a lot more offers coming his way based on the list of programs contacting him and stopping by his school recently.
Parsons had a conversation this week with coaches at Virginia, who told him he is their top tight end target right now in the 2013 class.
Parsons has only played tight end for one season. He grew up playing quarterback, running back or receiver. He was a receiver as a freshman and he missed much of his sophomore season with three broken bones in his ankle. The transition to tight end this year couldn't have gone any better. He capped his junior season by being named the All-Colorado tight end by the Denver Post. He also earned first-team all-state and all-conference honors.
"By a lot of peoples' view it was good, but I always think I can do better than I did," Parsons said. "Overall, I think it was a pretty good season. I had a couple drops and I could have had a little better season, but, I mean, I expect to catch everything. So I don't like the amount of drops I had."
Parsons plays in a pro-style offense that runs the ball about 60 percent of the time. He is occasionally used as a fullback/H-back role and he says he is improving all the time as a blocker in the run game.
"It's more zone blocking," he said. "So you block more of a zone than you do any person. ...I've only had a year of blocking. So I think I could be better at it, but I think I'm proficient."
He finished the season with 35 receptions for 634 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games.
Recruiting has picked up a lot since his football season ended. He talked on the phone earlier this week with a Purdue assistant. Vanderbilt emails him regularly and has invited him to its junior day. Assistants from Michigan and Oklahoma have recently stopped by his school and watched him compete in basketball games. An assistant from Nebraska also came to his school to introduce himself.
Parsons is playing basketball this winter for Chaparral. He enjoys the camaraderie with his teammates and representing his school, but he knows his future is not on the hardwood.
"I'm a rebounding specialist," Parsons joked. "I'm a football player in a basketball uniform. I can jump, but I can't dribble or shoot."
Parsons said he started the recruiting process believing he would definitely choose an out-of-state school, but he said when Colorado was the first to offer him, it made a big impression and he has really started to like the program Embree is building in Boulder.
"I really like CU," he said. "I like what they're doing there. I think they are going to be getting a lot better here in the next couple years and I want to be a part of that. The only thing is I don't want to go to school with a bunch of kids who I know. I'm social. I like meeting new people and that kind of thing. I guess it really depends cause I compare other schools that I've been talking to to CU cause I really like how Boulder is a college town. It's not like a transit school. It's a college town. ...I would like to stay in-state just for the fact that I'm close to my parents and I can come home for dinner on a Friday night or Saturday night. But I also like the idea of going out of state just for the fact that you only live once and not many kids have the opportunity to say, 'I got to go to some college out of state.'"
Parsons said one of the biggest parts of his decision will be seeing the campuses of each of the schools he is interested in. For that reason, he is inclined to wait to make a decision until late in the process around this time next year. But he knows things could happen that might change his mind.
Parsons said he is primarily being recruited to CU by tight ends and special teams coach J.D. Brookhart. But he likes the fact that Embree is a former tight end who emphasizes the tight end in the CU offense. Parsons said Embree told him he could be another in a long line of great tight ends to play in Boulder.
Check out highlights of Parsons' junior season Click here.