Patience Pays Off for Walk-on DB Parker

Hackensack (N.J.) defensive back Marcus Parker was coming to Rutgers as a preferred walk on no matter what happened in the coaching search. Set for an official visit next weekend, Parker spoke with about his decision to become a Scarlet Knight and excitement for his visit.

Hackensack (N.J.) defensive back Marcus Parker was supposed to take his official visit to Rutgers the weekend before National Signing Day. Then everything changed when Greg Schiano left that week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Unsure of his future with a new coach coming in, Parker waited.

Recruiting coach Jeff Hafley told Parker that his visit would be delayed, but that he still had a spot at Rutgers. When Hafley left to join Schiano after Signing Day, Parker waited.

Parker had more waiting to do when Kyle Flood took over as head coach, still hearing nothing from Rutgers. But when Flood got his staff build, assistant coach Dave Cohen had Parker on the phone that night, inviting him to officially visit Feb. 24 to see his future program.

"I went from really, really worried and starting to doubt myself just a little bit to total relief," Parker said. "I kept praying, trying to be patient. There wasn't much I could do, so I left it alone. I thought about it and prayed about it. When it came up, it was shocking. I was relieved. I was excited. I can't wait to get down there for my visit."

Preferred walk-ons tend to visit the weekend before Signing Day, but Parker had his pushed back twice, like other walk-ons, because of the coaching situation.

Set to visit next weekend, Parker sees it as a tour of his future home, already decided that he wants to play for Rutgers.

"On a scale of one to 10, my excitement is probably an 11 right now," Parker said. "I've wanted to go so badly. I was down about it when they had to keep rescheduling it. When I found out I was going, I was happy about it. It really made my day when I found out."

Parker transferred to Hackensack after moving from Elizabeth (N.J.) High School, where he got to know starting linebacker Khaseem Greene.

"I know how good of a player he is and how much he can teach me about playing defense in college," Parker said.

Parker plays both ways for Hackensack as an offensive thread and defensive back. Standing at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Parker expects to come in as a safety.

"I could probably play either, but I think I'm going to be a safety," Parker said. "To be honest, I just want an opportunity, it doesn't matter where."

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