Schools Working To Flip Alabama Grayshirt Commit Jarez Parks

    Four-star defensive end and Alabama grayshirt commit Jarez Parks is still receiving interest from other schools trying to get him to flip from the Crimson Tide.

    March 20, 2017

    Four-star defensive end and Alabama grayshirt commit Jarez Parks is still receiving interest from other schools trying to get him to flip from the Crimson Tide. 

    If you’ve already shifted your thought process to the 2018 recruiting class, you’re definitely not alone, but there are some schools who have not yet shut the door on the 2017 class.

    And the reason why is 4-star defensive end Jarez Parks.

    A decision on National Signing Day that resulted in Parks’ opting to take a grayshirt at Alabama instead of enrolling this upcoming fall at another institution was widely debated.

    Other power programs tried to sway him away from that move on Feb. 1, and they have not given up the hope of flipping Parks from the Crimson Tide, according to 247Sports.

    Parks’ coach at Sebastian River High School acknowledged that those same programs are still blowing up the 4-star defensive end’s phone, but the status quo remains the same.

    “Where we stand at today, we’re still Alabama,” Ronald Freeman said. “We’re still getting a lot of calls from LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Miami, those guys. They’re still trying to curve him, but you know he’s very hard with Alabama. That’s his thing, that’s what he wants to do.”

    A huge reason why Parks is set on sticking with the Crimson Tide is because of the vibe and the people in Tuscaloosa. It feels right to him.

    While understandable, Alabama’s grayshirting practices are more complex than a player’s comfortability on campus. Many people, whether they cheer for Alabama or not, will acknowledge the positive atmosphere that exists in T-Town. It’s evident as soon as you walk on campus. The issue is that Nick Saban’s staff has been nearly depleted since its national championship loss to Clemson, and the Tide still make strong-arm moves like this one.

    Take a look at the assistants who left Alabama in the past few months: Billy Napier, Mario Cristobal, Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian. Granted, all of them left the offensive side of the ball, but linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi — a.k.a. Alabama’s best recruiters — nearly left for a job at Cal, too. The point is the Crimson Tide staff has never been as detachable as it is now, and it still finds a way to convince the No. 68 overall player in the country to turn down other offers and delay his college enrollment until January of 2018.

    The power of the Alabama brand is incredible. The cunning of Saban and his assistants is baffling.

    Parks could choose to stay in state and play close to home by signing with Florida State or Miami. And not only would he be able to enroll sooner, but he’d also find the field earlier.

    Georgia and LSU are both in need of hybrid edge rushers like Parks, yet he’s intent on attending Alabama and risking becoming an erasable name on what has become yet another No. 1-ranked recruiting class for the Tide.

    That’s the magic of what Saban has built in Tuscaloosa. He can take a team with a true freshman quarterback, another former blue-chip tailback, another re-stocked defensive unit, lose  in the national title game and still find a way to convince highly-touted recruits like Parks to grayshirt.

    On top of that, the effect lingers. Even as other elite programs come sniffing around, the scent of the Crimson Tide wafts through the air, and they — as well as the rest of college football — can tell Alabama won’t be fading away anytime soon.

    MORE: 4-Star OL Chasen Hines Announces College Commitment


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