One of Memphis' Best

Memphis University quarterback/pitcher likes what he sees in Vanderbilt. Scout.com talked with Michael and got his thoughts on Vandy and his other favorites.

Memphis University School quarterback Michael Park is one of the top players in the Memphis high school ranks. And several schools have serious interest in him.


Michael Park Profile Page:

The schools showing the most interest are from the Southeastern Conference.

"The ones showing the most interest in me are Mississippi State, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss," said the 6-1, 188-pounder. "Those are the ones that are constantly test messaging me and the ones that I usually talk to on the phone. I also received a text message from the Oklahoma coach and I'm going to try and go to their camp this summer. I'm also getting letters from plenty of other schools."

And his interest in them seems to be just as high.

"Yesterday (March 15th), I talked to Coach Woods from Alabama for the first time," said Michael, who calls coaches on a regular basis in response to their text message requests. "I'll probably start talking to him (more). I talk to Coach (Warren) Belin from Vanderbilt on the phone. I talked to Coach (Reed) Stringer from Mississippi State yesterday. I've talked to him a bunch of times. I talk to Coach (Hugh) Freeze from Ole Miss on the phone."

He's also attended one Junior Day. And he would like to go to more, but another sport is taking up most of his spring.

"I went to the Ole Miss Junior Day. That one kind of just worked out because it is close and I had (baseball) practice that morning," said Michael. "I got invited to pretty much every school that is sending me letters, but I just don't have time because of baseball."

Baseball is also going to take a lot of his summer.

"I play for Dulins Dodgers, but I am going to try to attend some summer football camps," said the recently turned 17-year old. "Coach Woods wants me to come to one of their camps. I am also going to try to go to the Oklahoma camp during the summer. And Coach Stringer wants me to come to Mississippi State and kind of go through, he said, a quick overview of Junior Day. He was real nice about it and said they would make time for me. I'm really going to go by ear and see what I can do."

Baseball is obviously a prominent part of his sports life. Are any schools recruiting him for that sport?

"I have been receiving a lot of letters from schools for baseball. The ones that I have really been in touch with in baseball are Vanderbilt and Ole Miss," said the pitcher/third baseman. "I have been offered by Ole Miss in baseball. They are mainly looking at me as a pitcher."

Why pitcher? When he told me his velocity that explained why, at least in my mind.

"I throw a fastball, curveball and changeup and last year I topped out at 89," said Michael, who was barely 16 year's old at the time. "That was toward the end of spring. I really don't know how hard I threw after that because I didn't get under a radar gun. At the Ole Miss baseball camp that I went to this spring, I threw consistently at 87. That was the first time that I had thrown off the mound since football was over."

Will he try to play both sports when he gets to college?

"I am probably going to pick one or the other," said Michael. "To try to master what (sport) you play in college you have to focus on it year-round. It's hard enough in high school. In college, I couldn't imagine you excelling at both."

If he chooses football, which schools are at the head of his favorite list at the moment?

"I like Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt," he said.

Why those five?

Alabama - "I like their coaching staff. I think (Head) Coach (Mike) Shula has something going. I like what Brodie Croyle did. Their program has always been at the top. They have a great stadium and great facilities. And a bunch of my brother's friends went to college there. I could probably see myself going to college there because I've always been in tune with them (while) just watching them on tv."

Auburn - "I like (Head) Coach (Tommy) Tuberville. I think he does a great job. And they are always real successful in the SEC year-in, year-out, which is hard to do. They have a real nice campus and a real nice school."

Mississippi State - "I like (Head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom. He sent me a letter that talked about your character and your attitude. It was a different type letter. It was more of a personal letter and really kind of stuck out. It talked about being a man. It was really impressive. And Coach Stringer is a really nice guy. He really wants to know what you are doing. I talked to him yesterday and he wanted to know how I'm doing in baseball."

Ole Miss - "I like what they are doing right now in recruiting. They are obviously going in the right direction. And my brother plays there. That gives me insight on what is going on there. And they have great facilities. That indoor facility is unbelievable. Their campus life is great. I've been down there a bunch just hanging out with my brother. It seems like it is exciting and everybody is into football."

Vanderbilt - "Vanderbilt is a great school and their academics are great. And Coach Belin is a great guy. I like talking to him on the phone. They have good facilities. They are an SEC school that has more of an academic side to it. Really, if you are not going to play football when you get out of college that will give you an edge."

Check back in about a month for the latest on this outstanding young athlete.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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