Anthony Parker Picks Tennessee

He's big. He's strong. He's fast. He's a Tennessee Volunteer. Six-foot-four, 295-pound Anthony Parker, a top-50 offensive lineman nationally, announced he will become a part of Tennessee's running game revival on national signing day.

The Lovejoy, Ga., giant was recruited by a host of schools including Nebraska, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Cincinnati, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina State and Mississippi State although reports indicate neither the Cornhuskers or Bulldogs offered. The Insiders rate Anthony Parker as the nation's No. 49 offensive line prospect and No. 40 overall prospect in the state of Georgia. (Which says a lot about the state of prep football in the Peach Tree State.) He did take an unofficial visit to Athens but never developed an interest in the Bulldogs.

Parker, who also played defensive tackle, consistently clocks in the five-flat range and is reported to have run a 4.75 by The Insiders. He bench presses 390 and squats 415. However knee injuries robbed him of lower body strength, as he was hitting 500 pounds prior to surgery. Parker needs to improve his strength and base so will likely redshirt as a freshman, but he has the type of upside that makes him an exciting prospect long term. That's especially true for a Tennessee offensive line that needs speed to run interference and trap blockers at guard to open holes inside.

The Insiders Jamie Newberg offers this appraisal of Parker as a player.

"An extremely athletic big man that can get out on a linebacker or drive block a defensive tackle. Anthony Parker finishes his blocks well and plays with a mean streak. He projects as an interior lineman on the next level, and would fit well in a scheme that runs a lot of pulls and traps."

Parker, who currently carries a 2.8 grade point average and is fully qualified, earned all-state honors as a senior and was visited by coaches from 30 different schools during the May evaluation period. Lovejoy teammate Jeremy Lomax is a Georgia verbal that helped recruit Parker for the Bulldogs.

Maryland and Mississippi State are two of the schools that were looking at Parker on defense and he played defensive tackle in the Georgia all-star game. He was being recruited by North Carolina State and Tennessee as an offensive lineman which set up a competition with former Vol offensive line coach Mike Barry. UT's Pat Washington recruited Parker for the Vols.

Parker, who becomes the Vols 16th commitment, was thought to be a Tennessee lean after he made his official visit to Knoxville, but his interest in the Big Orange began long before that.

Since I was young watching them on TV that is where I have wanted to go," Parker said of Tennessee.

"I'm a hard worker and very coachable. I'll do whatever the coach needs me to so I can help the team."

Tennessee could also be going to the mat with the Wolf Pack for Deerfield Beach, Fla., QB Brent Schaeffer, who visited Raleigh over the weekend. A signal caller who runs a 4.5 could do a lot on a run-pass option behind a lineman that runs a 4.75.

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