Three-star TE Said it Felt Like Home

It was a family affair for Greer (SC) tight end Desmond Parks (6-4, 225) on his official visit to Florida this past weekend. The Gator commitment brought with him is parents, younger brother, and a younger cousin to check out what the University of Florida was all about. Parks and family left totally impressed.

Park's father Allen got his first taste of Gainesville, the University of Florida, and The Swamp over the weekend. Allen Parks admitted it was more than he expected.

"I just loved going in The Swamp, it was loud, real loud," the elder Parks said about the game against rival Miami in which Florida won 26-3.

He and Desmond both thought the people around the campus and the program were what made a difference over the weekend.

"They were nice, the coaching staff. Everyone," Mr. Parks said. "The people in the restaurant. I didn't see anyone that had a bad attitude, it was a real good experience. I want to go down there for another game this year and see it all again."

For Allen Parks, Desmond made a wise decision and it was one that he was certain to allow him to make. He believes Desmond is one a different kind of teenager, one that has a level head on his shoulders.

"I want to get down there again though, anything to put a smile on his face," he said. "He was a little afraid how I would feel about being so far from home, but I told him he was my son and I don't care where he goes. I would go to New York of that is where he wanted to go.

"In his own way he is unique, he is very mature for his age. He just got a car and didn't want to hang out and party, he just didn't want to do all of that. You can teach a child right from wrong, but you can't make him do right from wrong and Desmond does the right things."

Desmond Parks has offers from Clemson and Florida among others and chose the further distance to be at a school and a program that he believe fits him best. He was somewhat overwhelmed by the way he and his family were treated on his visit last weekend.

"It was fun, they sent us to the best restaurants and had great seats at the game," Desmond said. "We got to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff and they showed us a lot of hospitality.

"I just loved the overall generosity from everyone. It was just awesome that my mom and dad didn't have to ask for anything, they made sure my little brother and cousin were fine. They made sure I had everything I needed. Everywhere we went people were nice and showed respect."

The Swamp is something that really stood out of course and his first time witnessing a live game did not disappoint.

"It was awesome, the atmosphere was one of a kind," Parks said. "Just the way I see it, all the fans take it and pack the house out. They stand for the home team the whole time. I just thought it was wonderful. I am coming with my uncle for the LSU game."

He also got to see a taste of what the tight end can do in the Gator offense. Aaron Hernandez scored a touchdown on a reception on the Gators' first drive. He also set a personal record on the day for catches and was a main target of Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow all game long. He was told to expect it and then wasn't disappointed.

"Him scoring the first touchdown of the game and then a couple of catches later in the game shows me that they really do utilize the tight end," Parks said. "I really did love that they got the ball to him and let him make plays for them. I talked to Hernandez after the game and he just said 'I told you'."

This week Park's Greer team faced rival and nationally ranked Duncan (SC) Byrnes. Florida tight end's coach John Hevesy was expected to be in attendance and Desmond is hoping and expecting good things after his offense lit up the scoreboard last week in a 62-33 win.

"We are going to give it our all and I think we have a good chance of shocking the world this week," he said.

Florida has the tight end they needed in the class. There is a question of whether they will sign another, but for now Parks is a huge commitment and one that they seem very happy to get. FightinGators.com will be sure to keep up with Desmond Parks throughout the recruiting process.


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