RECRUITING: Parker's Stock On The Rise

He's a little young to be a full-time salesman but selling is exactly what Moses Parker will be doing when he hits the camp circuit this summer. He's a 6-0, 170-pounder that plays safety for Gainesville's P.K. Yonge School but this summer his mission is to sell the coaches from some big time schools that he has the skills, speed and tools to play cornerback at the highest levels of Division I.

(See Moses Parker profile)

Parker plays safety because he's the biggest and the hardest hitter among the defensive backs at P.K. Yonge but he knows that his future is at cornerback. Since there is no film footage of him as a corner, he's going camping in the month of June with the intention of proving on the field that it's not a risk to offer him a scholarship.

"Florida, Louisville and LSU have all been recruiting me a lot," said Parker Friday night at P.K. Yonge's end of spring scrimmage with Gainesville High School. "I'm getting interest now from South Carolina, too. Florida's at the top of the list. I'll be at camp there and I'm going to camp at LSU, too."

He will be talking to the coaches from South Carolina and Louisville this weekend to work things out so there is not a conflict with their camps.

Parker's recruiting stock has taken an abrupt rise since the combine in Boca Raton a couple of weeks ago. Prior to that combine, he was hearing mostly from mid-majors and a couple of lower end SEC-types. All that changed with his combine performance.

On a slow, squishy field where traction was difficult and times in all drills were typically slow, Parker turned in a 4.5 in the 40 (fifth best), an excellent 4.21 in the shuttle and a 6.81 that was the fourth best time in the camp in the L-cone shuttle. What made his times more impressive were that players were slipping and sliding all over the field but he showed the ability to stay on his feet even when the turf was flying out from under him.

Scouts from Florida, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina and Ole Miss were there that day and they got an eyeful. Now he's getting a lot more phone calls and letters but the schools that interest him the most want him in camp so they can watch him up close and personal in coverage drills, one-on-one.

"That's what they want to see and so I'm going to show them I can do it," he said. "I practice one-on-one all the time but they need to see me and know I can do it before they offer. I understand that. I'll go there, do my best and I think I'll do all right. I think I'll get the offers I'm looking for."

He hopes to add 10-15 pounds of upper body muscle this summer. He was benching 260 pounds before a wrist injury slowed down his lifting schedule. He'll be back to normal in about two more weeks so he'll dedicate himself to getting a lot stronger.

"My goals for the summer are to gain size and speed for the next level," he said. "I want to work on all the little things that will help me gain quickness and help me with my coverage skills. My chief goal, though, is to get bigger. I want to be in the 180-185 range by the end of the summer. That's a size I think I can play where I can maintain my speed.

"I was benching 260 before I hurt my wrist. I want to get that up to at least the 315 range. I think that's a reasonable goal and I think I can get there. I'll be very disappointed in myself if I'm not consistent at 4.45 or a little lower by the end of the summer. I'm pretty sure that if I keep working hard like I always have, I'll be able to get there, too. I'm going to work hard on my closing speed and making my hips turn better when I'm following the receiver. I'll be on the practice field twice a day or more if I have to. Whatever I have to do to get better, I'll do it."

Even though he has a 3.1 in the classroom and a 920 SAT score, he's not going to take time off academically this summer. He will be taking some summer school courses with two particular goals in mind.

"First off, I want to get my GPA up to a 3.5 or 3.6," he said. "A 3.1 is good but I know I can push myself and get that higher. I'm also going to take the SAT again in the fall. I'm qualified with a 920 but I can do better than that, too. It's just a personal thing. I want to show I can do better.

"Once I get these classes out of the way this summer, I'll be on target to graduate in December so I can go early enrollment in January," he said. "If I can get an extra spring in that's an advantage to me. Whatever I need to do to compete on the next level, that's what I'll do."

His plan is to major in some health sciences field in college. He says he hasn't pinpointed at exact major, just that he wants it to be something in the health-related fields.

"I want to do something with my life that helps other people," he said. "That's why I want something that's in the health field."

Parker will listen to all the coaches from all the schools and he will try to keep an open mind about each one. However, if he gets an offer from Florida, it will be hard to say no.

"I grew up a Gator," he said. "This is my school in my town and I love the Gators. I grew up watching the Florida games and especially, I grew up wanting to play for the Gators in the Florida-FSU rivalry. I think that's the top rivalry game in the country and I've grown up dreaming about playing in that game."

In a little over a week he'll hit the camp circuit, starting with the University of Florida camp. Starting with that camp, he'll be Moses Parker, full-time cornerback and full-time salesman. If he can sell coaches that he's got the tools to play corner, he'll get the scholarship offers he covets.

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