Chad Simmons

Four-Star Defensive End Jarez Parks Sees a New Side to Florida

Jarez Parks saw a whole new side of Florida football on Monday afternoon. Scout's No. 3 defensive end discusses his trip and what he is looking for in a program.

Florida football hosted an impressive number of recruits on Monday for its afternoon practice, including one of the top defensive end prospects in the country, Jarez Parks.

"I always have fun when I visit Florida," said the four-star defender. 

The Scout No. 3 defensive end has visited Gainesville plenty of times before, however, this is the first time he was able to see the Gators practice. 

"I just like how the team gets together as a whole, and I like how the players were communicating with each other on and off the field. It was a good experience," he said. "I do [like the tempo] but I can't base it off of anything, because that was my first college practice I have ever seen. There really wasn't anything to base it off of."

Although he had nothing to compare this practice to, he did see one thing that defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, defensive back coach Torrian Gray, defensive line coach Chris Rumph and linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator Randy Shannon all had in common, "I like how they all are zoned in, " he said. "It shows that they all have one common goal, and that was something I definitely was looking at today: how interactive the coaches were with the players and things of that nature." 

The Gators, however, are not the only ones fighting to land the Sebastian River standout. Notre DameAlabamaClemsonFlorida StateMiamiMichigan and Georgia are just some of the schools that have offered the 6-foot-5, 255-pounder. 

"There is not one in particular that is [recruiting me the hardest," he said. "Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, LSU, and most of the schools that have offered are in contact."

With such a long list of offers, Parks is going to use some guidelines to narrow down the field to his choice. 

"Mostly their education," he said. "The major keys are education and interaction with all the players, thats what it will probably come down to. Regardless of me playing football or not, I do have to survive at the school with the players, and it comes down to if I'm comfortable or not."

Education is going to be a sticking point considering Parks' choice of field. 

"I am going to do pre-med," he said. "As of now not sure [what type of medicine], but if I don't go pre-med, I might just go to PA [physician assistant] school."

His resolve to study medicine is something that has been in Parks since he was very young. He has always wanted to help people. 

"Growing up I've always had the heart to try to help someone and knowing about the body and what things it can do," he said. "It always made me want to help someone, and I feel like being a PA your not constantly on someone, and you do make a factor in people's lives, and you do have the ability to help someone-thats one of the main things I like about that.

"It's always been in my heart to do it, so I'm going to pursue it as well." 

So it's safe to say the school he chooses must give him this opportunity, "most definitely." 

But thats not all, his curiosity about the body and how things work, makes him curious on how a program runs its strength and conditioning across the board. 

"It is most definitely something I look at; how a school is going to keep me fit with their strength coach," he said. "I am going to make sure I look at their strength coach and how he interacts with all types of sports and not just football. If they show favoritism towards one group thats not going to benefit anyone at the school."

He also wants to learn from those that help the athletes stay fit and healthy. 

"Definitely, I do love talking to nutritionists."  

However, don't expect him to narrow down his field of suitors just yet. He still has plenty of things to research by going on more visits.                                                                    

"As of right now, I don't know [where I will be visiting]. I 'm going to visit some more schools for sure though," he said. "There are a couple of schools I want to visit, it will just come down to my timing and how my schedule is going to work around it. There is not a specific school I want to visit, but there are multiple schools that I shall visit.    

Parks has no timeline set for his decision. 

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