Parker Comes Away From OSU Visit Impressed

The Ohio State basketball team hosted one of the top 2012 hoops propsects in the country over the weekend in Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove's Tony Parker. Get Parker's full insight on how the visit went and where Ohio State stands inside.

Tony Parker was surprised to hear he made it on to TV while attending the Ohio State football teams's 27-22 win over Toledo Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

As it turns out, the quick flash next to Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals on national television was just one more event to add to an already impressive list of memories after his first extensive visit to the university.

"I was TV? Oh wow," said the surprised Parker, the No. 19 overall prospect in his recruiting class according to Scout. "The visit was great, I had fun, I really had a good time. Ohio State was really fun, I really like the coaching staff. It was just great."

The Lithonia (Ga.) Miller Grove big man — perhaps the top target on Ohio State's recruiting board for the 2012 class — had an all-encompassing itinerary when visiting Ohio State, which was highlighted by his first Buckeyes football game.

The visit, which also included his first thorough view of the campus, left a lasting impression on Parker.

"It was great from the plane ride there to the time I got back," the 6-9, 250-pounde center said. "It was crazy because it was 105,000 people. Being at the game, being in that kind of atmosphere was nuts. I know football is big in Georgia, but that Ohio State was about the craziest thing I have ever seen."

Though it wasn't the first time Parker visited Ohio State's campus, it was his first time getting a complete view of what the university has to offer. Parker's parents came away equally impressed.

"It is really beautiful. It was really a sight to see," Parker said of Ohio State's campus. "My mom didn't know Ohio State was going to look like it did. I don't know what she thought it was going to look like, but she loved it.

"My dad also loved it," he continued. "They were very fond of the coaches and they thought they were great people. They thought the team was great, very respectable, and they thought they were great kids."

Parker, who was racked up over 30 scholarship offers from schools all over the country, had recently narrowed down his list to roughly six schools, Ohio State being one of them. After the visit, the Buckeyes reaffirmed its spot on Parker's list.

Though Parker said he didn't have a top five to list, the big man maintained that "Ohio State would be up there" if he did. Having just spent time with the Buckeye players for the first time, Parker said he felt comfortable with those already on the team.

Parker was hosted by Evan Ravenel, who is slated to play for Ohio State for the first time after sitting out a year following a transfer from Boston College. Parker also said he enjoyed the company of All-American big man Jared Sullinger.

"Evan Rav, he was great," said Parker, a five-star recruit. "He toured me the first night and I had a great time and he is a great guy. I have met Sully before too at the LeBron camp. He is a great player, he is always cool, and he always checks up on me."

"The whole thing was great," Parker continued. "Jared Sullinger is a great guy. All the guys on the team are great guys. They treated me well and they taught me a lot."

Parker said he'd like to make his college decision before his final basketball season comes to a close, but that could be delayed as he continues to communicate with his family. His father, Virgil, would prefer if Parker waited until after his season.

With a visit to UCLA coming up, Parker said he may visit Duke Oct. 29 if his "recruitment goes that far." Parker, however, said he was hopeful to make a decision in the near future.

Having conversed with Ohio State head coach Thad Matta and Boals, Parker came away impressed with the Buckeye Nation and all the university has to offer.

"I think it is great how the entire city backs that program and I love the love for the football and basketball players," Parker said. "(The coaches) just told me that they are some of the most supporting fans in the country."

Though Parker said he isn't close to making a decision, it is clear the Buckeyes remain in good position to land the services of one of the most coveted prospects in the nation.

"Ohio State will always be on top of my list," Parker said. "It is a great school, a great atmosphere, a great place to be, a great place to focus, and a great place to get a degree from, really. It is just outstanding how they do things there."

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