Steve Robertson - Welcome back Bulldog fans as we continue with our discussion of the 2016 Mississippi State commitments.
One of the first guys in this class is Dareun Parker from Desoto Central High School. I've had the chance to see him several times this summer. Every time I see him he is more impressive, not just as a player but also as a person. He is a very down-to-earth, very blue collar player who wants to work and get better. He is also a guy who is a leader on his team, not so much in word but moresoe in deed. In talking to the staff at Desoto Central he is always in the weight room, one of the first ones there and one of the last ones to leave. In fact, they were playing in a seven-on-seven tournament and Dareun is there to cheer for his team. Of course, there are no offensive or defensive linemen out there but he is there cheering for his guys, guys like Cameron Bowman and others who are prospects for programs. I think it is interesting to note that he is a team-first guy.
When he was here for the June camp sessions there weren't many players, from the offensive line standpoint, that were more impressive than Dareun. The reason I say that is John Hevesy really puts those guys through some physical rigors. Parker had the ability to back pedal then flip his hips almost like a corner. It is kind of funny to see. Hevesy puts them through those drills to see their mobility, see if they can handle change of direction. With all the counters and misdirections that Mississippi State runs in its offense you have to have offensive guards who can pull and get out and move, as we have seen over the years (with players like) Gabe Jackson and people like that. They like to take the left guard and run that counter play and get him out from the right side and lead. And Dareun Parker is a guy who can really do that because he has the skillset and mobility. But also, too, he is a really tough kid. You get that sense by being around him and watching him on film.
He plays left tackle on the high school level but he will move inside (on the college level) because he has more of that square body type and doesn't really have that long, lean tackle physique. But he is certainly a guy who is very physical and very, very strong at the point of contact. I think he is a guy that you will be very proud to call a Mississippi State Bulldog over the course of the next (few) years.