Blue Springs High School’s big ‘Cat is now a Tiger – again.
Senior Daniel Parker, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end, committed to play football at the University of Missouri via Twitter Thursday morning.
“Locked in,” Parker’s tweet said. It was accompanied by emojis of a lock and a tiger.
Rivals.com rates the four-star defensive end the No. 7 player in the state. He is rated a three-star prospect by ESPN, 247 and Scout.
A scouting report on Parker, that can be found on PowerMizzou.com, states: "I remember not too long ago when the discussion was about which side of the ball Parker best projected to. That discussion seems to be over after he spent the whole off-season working out at defensive line, but I think it could be revived depending on his future physical growth. That growth means everything right now with Parker. At the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in June he struggled going head-to-head against the nation's top offensive linemen, but what was also evident there is there is a lot of physical growth ahead. He has huge size 15 shoes and big paws for hands, he just seems to need time to grow into his frame. When that happens, the four-star potential should emerge." – Rivals.com Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt.
This is Parker’s second commitment to the Tigers. The first came after a visit to Columbia for the annual Night at the Zou last summer.
“Mizzou has a great coaching staff and I have a great relationship with them,” Parker said Thursday.
A few weeks ago, when asked about Missouri, he said, “They’ve always been at the top of my list. When I told them I was going to look at other schools, they were great. That impressed me. Their coaches have always been there for me.”
Parker recently Tweeted his top six schools – Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, UCF and Missouri.
“This really is a big relief,” Parker said. “Now I can just focus on winning a state title with the Wildcats.”
That’s a thought shared by Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe.
“You know, Missouri has been there from the beginning, and Coach (Andy) Hill does such a great job recruiting in our area,” Donohoe said. “Daniel made that early commitment. Now he’s going to Missouri and we’re all thrilled for him. Now, he really can be focused on our team and not all the stress that comes from recruiting.”
An injury-plagued Blue Springs team made it to the Class 6 state championship game last season, but lost 31-14 to Kirkwood. Parker was a Class 5 first-team all-state selection at offensive line by the Missouri Football Coaches Association after helping pave the way for more than 5,400 yards, including 3,620 on the ground. He is projected to be more of a defensive player in college.
“I still think about that game,” Parker said of the loss in the state final. “I think all the guys who are back from last year’s team use that as motivation.”
Parker said that Missouri’s close proximity to Blue Springs played a small role in his decision, so his family could watch him play.
“I’m glad I have the opportunity to be a Tiger,” Parker said. “It kind of (helped with my decision), being so close to home, but I love Missouri and I love the atmosphere.”
He said the decision is one that will impact his life for a long time.
“So far, it’s the biggest decision I ever had to make,” he said. “It will be my life the next four or five years.”