It's that time of year when a boatload of prospects across the country witness their hard work and dedication pay off by being rewarded with their initial scholarship offers on the Division I level, and Connor Parks is one of the young men that recently hit the jackpot after transferring high schools over the offseason.
Parks, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end who's now teamed up with Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge, has the opportunity to strap up the pads in the Conference USA after receiving word from Southern Mississippi back on Feb. 22.
"It was actually out of the blue," Parks said. "Coach called me and told me that Southern Miss was on the phone talking highly about my film and said they loved my determination.
"They told him they would keep an eye out, and about a week later, I got a phone call from Southern Miss saying I was going to be offered and for me to come down this summer."
Parks is nowhere near the recruiting finish line with UCF, Florida International and others on the verge of possibly dishing out offers, but has already jumped out to a good start in his recruitment by performing his research on the Golden Eagles, the first program to take a shot on him.
"They have a new coach," Parks said. "Jay Hopson seems like a good man and they had a big win vs. Kentucky last year. I like that they are a fast-paced team."
Parks, who piled up 81 tackles, 15 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries as a junior, is a good looking athlete that closes on the ball with impressive acceleration. He flashes that suddenness when battling it out in the trenches as well.
He can continue to work on driving through his opponent with force, but changes direction and operates well in space. Parks is relentless when locking onto the ball carrier. Parks is athletic enough to scoot back to outside linebacker, but projects best with his hand in the dirt.
"Coming off the ball fast and hard," Parks said when asked about his strengths as a player. "I play every snap like it's my last.
"I'm a playmaker."
As always, stay tuned to Scout.