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.
I won't be able to go to the South Carolina's home opener this weekend because I'm going to see my cousin play at Newberry. My plan is to go to a USC game in the near future and then go to another Clemson game soon after that. I'm not sure when or where I'll take my first official visit - probably in the next month or so. I do know that two of my official visits will be at USC and Clemson, but it's still up in the air as to where my other three official visits will be.
It's been interesting watching college football this year because when I watch, I try to see how I might fit in with that team. Like the Clemson-Georgia Tech and South Carolina-Georgia games, the way Clemson and South Carolina came back showed how much fight they have and what kind of coaches they have there. I was impressed by the way they both played.
I bruised my sternum on the second play of last week's game against Fort Dorchester. I kept playing, but the trainers decided to keep me from practicing at full speed on Monday. Of course, that¹s not going to keep me from playing on Friday at Stratford, though.
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Last week's game was pretty crazy with all the turnovers in the second half, but it showed how we can be a great defense when we start flying around the ball. We didn't play all that good in the first half, so at halftime, senior linebacker Brandon Frazier and I told the defense that the second half would be ours. We didn't change anything; we just set our mind on making plays. That was a big win for us.
During the offseason, I worked a lot to improve my agility, footwork and angles on my own and with (Beaufort High football coach Mark) Clifford. I'm starting to see the hard work pay off in games with my tackling and when I get downhill because I have better control in pursuing other players. It's also good to see our hard work as a team paying off with three wins to start the season.
My top five schools (in order): Clemson, South Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.