It was Always Florida

Desmond Parks was always leaning towards being a Florida Gator, he just had to convince his parents of the same. This afternoon, he got the green light from his family and called up Urban Meyer, becoming Florida's eighth commitment from the class of 2009.

Desmond Parks is a 6-6, 215-pound three-star tight end from Greer (S.C.). He's not too far away from Clemson, which was the other finalist, but he also understood that people from his neck of the woods rarely get the chance to go to a school like Florida.

"I really wanted to go to Florida from the beginning, but I took into consideration my mom, dad, and family who really wanted me close to home so they could see me more," Parks said. "I started realizing how great of an opportunity it was to go to Florida. Not many people have the opportunity to go to a place like Florida especially where I'm from. Finally, my parents realized that and gave me the go ahead to commit."

According to Parks, no one was more excited to learn of the news than Gator coach Urban Meyer. Meyer was on a retreat with the rest of the coaching staff and put Parks on speaker phone so everyone could listen in.

"He was ecstatic about it," Parks said. "They were on a coach's retreat before they start practice and all the coaches got on the phone. They were happy and screaming about it and excited for me to come down and be a Florida Gator."

Parks also spoke with Florida's tight end coach John Hevesy.

"I talked with coach Hevesy. He had the same reaction as coach Meyer."

The Florida offense didn't really utilize a tight end in Meyer's first two seasons in Gainesville. Last year, they started to work it in with Ingram and Aaron Hernandez and they're looking to run some double tight end sets this season. With Ingram leaving, it's the perfect opportunity for someone like Parks to come in.

"Talking with the coaches and from what I've seen myself, the way they run their offense, they're using the tight end a lot more," Parks said. "The coaches are really utilizing guys like Cornelius Ingram. They really showed me that they can use a tight end and make use of the kind of athlete I am."

Parks visited Florida in June for the Gator camps, but had to pull out at the last minute for Friday Night Lights. Back in June, though, Parks got the red carpet treatment.

"The camp it was a great experience," he said. "All the coaches showed a lot of interest. They gave me a ‘welcome home' feeling. They were enthusiastic and showed me a lot of love."

Greer begins practice on Friday and their first game is the last week of August. Parks is glad to have the decision out of the way.

"I was planning on making my decision before the season started anyway," he said. "I wanted to have it done before practice. It feels good to have it out of the way. Now I only have one thing to think about and that's my season and being the best that can I be."

If time permits, Parks would like to bring his parents to Gainesville before the end of the summer. If not, they'll have a chance to visit when Parks makes his official visit, which he is tentatively planning for Florida's matchup with Miami.

Questions or comments? Contact's Chris Chmielenski

Fightin Gators Top Stories