Chandler Hamilton’s Jaelon “J.J.” Parson proved himself on the field as one of Arizona’s best defensive backs with seven interceptions over the last two years. He did the same in the classroom, posting above a 4.0 GPA and a member of the National Honor Society.
He was pursued by schools at the Division II level, but decided to walk on at Stanford. The communication started between Parson and the Cardinal when the defensive back attended a camp before the 2015 season. The Cardinal offered a preferred walk-on spot, and Parson jumped at the chance.
“It started with a camp and showing them what I could do and putting my name out there,” Parson said.
The football, the academics and the culture made Stanford a perfect destination for Parson.
“(The culture) is just hard-working. Just doing what they need to do to be successful. Everybody knows that there, even in the academic aspect, and I think that sets them apart.”
Hamilton High School head football coach Steve Belles echoed Parson’s thoughts on walking on with Stanford.
“First of all, it’s hard to get in there. You have 55,000 people applying and only about 2,500 make it, and he is one of those 2,500. I think it’s an easy choice,” Belles said.
“(He is) a great player, great family, a player that will give you everything he’s got all the time.”
Being a walk-on provides plenty of opportunity but also challenges. Belles believes Parson is ready to hit those challenges head-on and is in a great position to succeed.
“You start from the bottom, literally. You really have to earn your way, and if you do, the good thing about that is it really does lead to a scholarship that you’ve truly earned,” Belles said. “There are only a few, if any, better than getting a degree from Stanford.”
Here is Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell’s analysis of Parson:
“Two-year starter for one of Arizona's power programs, Chandler Hamilton. Has the ability to do multiple things in the secondary. Has played in run support up in the box and shows good ball skills in the back half. Doesn't have elite size or speed but has instincts and experience, also well coached.”