Beaufort High School linebacker Justin Parker has emerged as one of the nation's top recruiting prospects, earning more than a dozen scholarship offers from Division I schools and cracking Sporting News Today's list of top 100 football recruits for the 2010 class. As Parker approaches his much-anticipated decision, the senior agreed to give readers a glimpse into the recruiting process with a diary every Wednesday, as told to Beaufort Gazette/Island Packet sports reporter Brandon Parker.
After thinking things over this past week, I hope to start taking some of my official visits at the end of this month and then make my decision sometime in November. I don't want to be the last person in my recruiting class to commit, but then again, if that's how it goes, then that's how it goes. So, my plan is to take my official visits in the coming weeks, see what I like and then go from there.
I haven't made plans to go to any games this weekend, but I know that I'll be going to the South Carolina-Vanderbilt game (on October 24) for sure. That should be a good atmosphere since it's between two SEC teams.
I know that I mentioned how one of the Nebraska coaches came to visit me at school the other week, which really surprised me. We talked for about three minutes and it was nice to see that they would go out of their way to check on me. But the only thing with Nebraska is that it's pretty far away from my family, so I'm taking all of that into consideration.
As for last week's game against Wando, it was good to see us play better after giving up 41 points the week before against James Island. The score was still 0-0 going into halftime, and for the defense, it can't get better than that. And of course, it was even better to get the win and only give up six points.
For this week's game with Berkeley, we'll definitely have to turn it up even more as a defense. To play against a Wildcat offense like the one Berkeley often uses (with quarterback Bruce Ellington), it can be difficult. But as a linebacker, if you just read the keys -- like, looking at which way the guards pull or which way the tackles are going -- it can help you out a lot. That's something that our defensive coaches really stress and that's why you've seen so many successful linebackers come through Beaufort High.
It's all about assignments this week, with people being where they are supposed to be on the field. It's not a region game, but this is big for us because it could decide home-field advantage and show just how far we can go in the playoffs.
My top five schools (in order): Clemson, South Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.