RECRUITING: Parker talks about UF camp visit

Tifton (GA) Tift County is a big time hotbed of high school football. In recent years they have scrambled to live up to the standards set by past teams and they're finally getting back on the right track. Randy Parker, Jr. starts at cornerback and is one of the big reasons for their resurgence as a football power. Parker attended football camp at the University of Florida last week.

(Randy Parker profile)

At 5-10 and 165 pounds, Parker uses his quickness and agility to be the one of the best cornerbacks in the Peach State. He showed off some of that at the camp in Gainesville.

"The Florida camp was great," Parker said. "I ran a good time in the 40 -- a 4.50 three times. Coach Heater said I had pretty good foot work."

Tift County made the playoffs for the first time in four years in 2005 and Parker was a big part of that. However, it isn't just the football field where he excels.

"I have a great academic program and know I am going to have to graduate from college," he said. "I know there is no guarantee I am going to play in the pros. I have a 93 average. I took the SAT in my sophomore year and already have a high enough score. I like science. I want to major in Physical Therapy or Physiatrics."

Parker lives with mom and dad, Randy Sr. and Pamela Parker. He has two younger brothers Akail (14) and Asante (13) that he could teach a thing or two about the game.

Football was something that just kind of happened for Randy. "I didn't even like football at first," he said. "But when I was a little younger I went out there one day and started playing. No one could catch me, so my dad just signed me up."

Now he is getting letters from all over the country. Some big time programs are really interested and not just for his football prowess.

"I am getting letters from Stanford, Florida, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Boston College," he said. "I get stuff from Harvard, Princeton, and Yale also. I don't have any scholarship offers just yet."

There are two schools that stand out for Parker right now. "I am most interested in Stanford and Florida," he said.

Stanford: "They are in California and they have a great academic program. You graduate from there and you can go anywhere."

Florida: "I like the Gators. I like being down in Florida, it doesn't get too cold. They have a good football program and Urban Meyer is a great coach. Coach Hevesy is recruiting me and I always talk to him. He is cool and down to earth."

He knows he needs to get better and the camp circuit is one place that will happen. "I need to improve in bump and run coverage," he said. "At my school we play man, but we play five yards off, so that is a little different."

He also knows what he is looking for in an institution of higher learning and his future football program of choice.

"I will make a decision based on academics, the football program that has players drafted, and the team that is going to give me a chance to play early," Parker said.

Randy Parker has the world in front of him. He is doing everything he possibly can to cease opportunities he has been blessed to have. He will be one player we will keep an eye on here at Gator Country and

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