Elijah Parks jumped onto the recruiting scene this past summer with an MVP performance at The Opening in San Leandro. The Fresno (Calif.) prospect had been sparingly recruited beforehand, but San Jose State jumped to offer him after that camp. Just over a month later, Parks committed to the Spartans.
The mutual relationship has remained smooth since then. Parks suffered a shoulder injury that limited his senior season and hurt his chances at adding any other offers. SJSU had the commit in for an official visit on Dec. 11.
“That went really well, they treated me with the utmost respect,” Parks said. “I got a better relationship with the coaches. I liked it. I went to my new favorite restaurant, Maggiano’s, and I went to the big mall they had in San Jose and we had a really nice hotel in Santana Row. I had a good relationship with the players there. I got to see Dehlon (Preston) and Andre (Chachere), all my bros from Fresno. The visit overall was great.”
His official visit came just two weeks after he was in town for the Spartans’ game versus Boise State.
“I liked seeing coach Jones in action,” Parks said. “I liked the tempo of the D-Line. The linemen seemed to have a really good family bond which was good to see. They didn’t come out with the win but it was still a good experience.”
Since making two trips to San Jose, there have been some coaching changeups on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson retired following the bowl game and other changes are being made before the new DC is hired. Parks remains firmly committed to SJSU.
“It hasn’t affected me with me being committed,” Parks said. “It was sad because (Robinson) was a cool guy, but that happens in sports. I wasn’t expecting that, seeing him on my official and then boom, he’s gone…. The new defensive coordinator, I’m sure he’ll be a good coach and I’ll have a good relationship with him. It won’t change my commitment I’m still solidly committed to San Jose State.”
Since committing, another defensive line prospect from Fresno, Johnny Rojas, also committed for the 2016 class. Parks and Rojas met in local offseason training last year.
“I’m happy I got another Fresno commit, I think it will be a good experience,” Parks said. “It won’t be too far from home and I’ll get to link up with Dehlon (Preston) and Andre (Chachere). (Rojas and I) met over summer in the workouts with DB Guru. At first I thought, ‘(wow), he’s tall.’ I think he was working with the tight ends and I didn’t even know he was a defensive end until the season. Once I found out he committed I thought, ‘alright, I’ll be with my bro.’”
Parks plans to sign in February and join the team over the summer. He is expected to be fully recovered from his shoulder injury by the time he reports.