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 actually didn't get to go to last weekend's Clemson-TCU football game like I had planned because of a SAT Prep class. The class was through a group that I'm a part of, called the Extra Mile Club, and we were there from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon. I'm also preparing for the SAT at school on my early dismissal days.
After I realized that I had the SAT Prep class last weekend, it wasn't a hard decision to go there instead of to the game. Academics is number one for me, and if you don't have the right grades or score, you're not going anywhere. I'm not just saying that to sound good; that's just really how it is.
I saw that Clemson plays Wake Forest and Florida State at home in the next month or two, so I might try to go to those games. I also still plan on attending a South Carolina game, and of course, I'll take my official visits to those two places soon.
Sometimes I laugh to myself when I look at some of the recruiting message boards and blogs that are out there, but I don't pay any mind to them. It's sometimes weird to see people make comments about my future and have such an interest in where I'll eventually go to college. But I guess that's how things are nowadays.
Man, it was great playing defensive end during parts of last week's game against West Ashley. I felt pretty comfortable because I'd played the position before, but not as much as I did last Friday.
Actually, I was giving one of our defensive tackles, Detrell Gantt, a hard time because he was out sick and I told him that I was going to pass him in sacks (Parker had two sacks in the win against West Ashley, pushing his team-high total to four). That's how we push each other on defense. We try to beat out one another and find ways to motivate ourselves to get better. We've got James Island coming up this week, and I hear that they have improved a lot this year. It's a road game, so we have to get off the bus ready to play. We can't go out there flat, like we did in the loss to Stratford. If all the guys have their heads on straight and we make some more big plays, we should be fine.
My top five schools (in order): Clemson, South Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.