High School: Creekside (Fairburn, Ga)
CAREER: Parks was a highly coveted recruit at the cornerback position. He was a UA All-American and played his high school ball at the same school that produced Eric Berry. Scout.com had him ranked as the no. 22 CB in the country.
Parks did not make much of an impact as a freshmen where he played mainly special teams. Depth issues forced him to get some reps at Safety.
As sophomore in 2009, he switched full-time to Safety where he played mainly on special teams.
Last year he became a starter at Safety where he registered 44 tackles, six passes defensed, but no interceptions. Parks added two fumble recoveries on the year.
It is hard to see today as Parks has added significant weight at FSU, but he really wanted to play CB at FSU. Typically in a position move like this, the player is expected to show more range and ball skills than your typical Safety.
That did not necessarily happen last year as his season could be best described as solid rather than spectacular. He did not make enough impact plays last year and will need to have a strong August camp and start to the season to keep that starting spot.
On the flip side, nothing happens overnight in football and the experience he amassed last year should make him a much better player as a senior. Parks had a strong Spring game and the hope would be that he puts it together as a senior.
The talent is not in question as he has all the skills that you look for. Parks needs to let his instincts take over as a senior and play as fast as he times. The position change has him uncertain of what he should do at times, he needs to just react and make the play. There is a difference between being fast and playing fast; Parks has the potential to be a difference maker. Will year two with Coach Stoops make a big difference? We think so.
He will be one of the more interesting players to watch this year and one can make a case that Safety will be one of the most competitive positions heading into the season.
Despite the lack of impact plays, his size, speed, and pedigree have him on the NFL radar. He will need to have a big season to reach his goals.
OVERALL: Parks was probably hurt by not red-shirting at FSU as he clearly needed some adjustment time to the Safety position. Unfortunately, FSU was not rolling on the recruiting trail in 2008 and he was forced into action due to depth concerns.
He has been a valuable member of the team and a starter at FSU. Therefore he is a hit on the trail.