Blue Springs junior offensive lineman Daniel Parker Jr. is being recruited by several high-profile colleges.
He also earned some recognition from the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Monday. Parker was named as a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is given to the top lineman or linebacker in the metro area.
The finalists for the Simone Award – given to the metro area's top player – were also revealed, along with the finalists for the other three awards.
Parker is the only junior up for the Buchanan Award. The other three – Park Hill defensive end Chester Graves, Blue Valley linebacker Michael Maffry and Raymore-Peculiar defensive lineman Anthony Payne – are all seniors.
Parker was the top offensive lineman for the Class 6 state runner-up Wildcats (11-2), who amassed more than 4,800 yards of total offense despite several injuries to their top skill players. He did not allow a sack while recording 65 pancake blocks. Parker, who was a unanimous All-Suburban Big Seven selection, already has multiple Division I offers, including Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Iowa State.
"Daniel has become one of the most dominant offensive lineman in the Kansas city area as just a junior," Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said. "Daniel has worked extremely hard in the offseason to improve his strength and quickness. Daniel has also been very aware of the importance of his leadership on and off the field, and has been terrific in that aspect."
William Chrisman junior defensive end Daniel Carson, who had 13 sacks, was a Buchanan Award semifinalist but did not make the final cut after the vote by the metro area's coaches, but he was named along with Parker to the All-Simone Team. Blue Springs senior linebacker Casey Still also was named to the All-Simone Team.
Graves, a finalist for the Buchanan Award last year, was also named a Simone Award finalist. Joining him as finalists for the top award are Staley senior running back Julian Ross (2,257 yards, 37 TDs), Blue Valley senior quarterback Matthew Dercher (3,144 yards, 35 TDs) and Shawnee Mission North senior quarterback Will Schneider (3,035 yards, 31 TDs).
William Chrisman senior quarterback James Bailey, who had 1,549 yards rushing and 907 passing and had a hand in 31 TDs, was a Simone semifinalist but did not make the final cut.
The winners will be announced Dec. 6 at a ceremony at the school of the Simone Award winner.
Grain Valley senior linebacker Kole Wagener was a semifinalist for the Bobby Bell Award, given to the top lineman or linebacker in Class 1-4 schools, but he did not make the final cut. Bishop Miege senior offensive lineman Colin Grunhard, Platte County senior offensive lineman Derek Kohler, Kearney linebacker Ethan Luft, Center senior linebacker John Taylor and Basehor-Linwood junior linebacker were named Bell finalists (there were five finalists because there was a fourth-place tie).
Lee's Summit North senior receiver Da'Ron Davis, who is verbally committed to Missouri, was a finalist for the Otis Taylor Award given to the metro's top receiver or tight end, but he did not make the final cut. Bishop Miege senior Jafar Armstrong, also a Mizzou commit who was a finalist last year, Kearney senior Jess Davis and Blue Valley senior Harrison Van Dyne were named finalists.
Making the final cut for the Fontana Award, which is given to the area's top player in Classes 1-4, were Platte County senior quarterback, Kearney senior quarterback Anthony Pritzel, Bishop Miege junior quarterback Carter Putz and Center junior quarterback Amaun Ryan.