Parmalee follows heart to Kansas

On Friday, the world was an uncomplicated place for Tre Parmalee, as he prepared to take his official visit to Northern Illinois - where he was committed to play football. A call from Charlie Weis and an offer from the University of Kansas threw a wrench into things, however, and on Tuesday he went with his heart. Parmalee is a Jayhawk.

This week, Tre Parmalee had an unexpectedly tough decision on his hands.

On Friday, the world was an uncomplicated place. He was committed to Head Coach Dave Doeren and Northern Illinois, and looking forward to his upcoming official visit to the DeKalb, Ill. campus.

And he had a great time. He loved the campus, the coaches, the players and the program. He still does.

In the end, however, he had to go with his heart. Which is why he's now a Kansas Jayhawk.

"It was basically what I felt was best for me," the 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete said. "I talked to my parents about it. Northern Illinois is a great school – a great program – and they have awesome coaches. I still love the program, but my heart led me to Kansas. It was just the right fit."

New Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis hasn't wasted any time hitting the recruiting trail hard and fast since his introduction last Friday. One of the first calls he made was to the Parmalee household, with an offer in hand, so to speak, for Tre. He wanted the 2011 Otis Taylor Award winner on board with him at Kansas.

Parmalee and Weis have a long history together, as Parmalee's father - former Ball State, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets running back Bernie Parmalee - was a fixture on Weis' coaching staff at Notre Dame. From 2005-2009 he handled the tight ends in South Bend, Ind., and mentored star talents such as Anthony Fasano and Kyle Rudolph.

When Weis was let go from his post with the Fighting Irish and took up the offensive coordinator position with the Kansas City Chiefs, Parmalee followed him, and continues to coach the tight ends at One Arrowhead Drive today.

So it's safe to say Weis played a significant role in Parmalee the Younger's change of heart; a change he made after long discussions with his parents.

"He's an awesome coach and I'm real close to him, everybody knows that," Tre Parmalee said. "It's always been my dream to play in a big conference. I feel like I can contribute to the team, and being close to home is a big plus for my family to come to all my home games."

He informed Weis of his decision Tuesday night.

"He was definitely happy," Parmalee said. "He was really happy that I committed and we're just ready to get things started over there."

Though he's made his mark during the past two seasons with Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege as a wide receiver, he's also an accomplished defensive back. As of right now, it's undetermined on which side of the ball he'll play on Mount Oread.

"Whatever Coach Weis wants me at, that's where I'll be," he said.

Parmalee will take an unofficial visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus this weekend, followed by an official visit in late January.


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