Emmett Jones, Les Miles a big draw for Steven Parker
This afternoon Steven Parker announced he was heading to Lawrence to play for the Jayhawks. Parker, a highly-sought after defensive end from South Oak Cliff just came off his visit to Kansas over the weekend.
This afternoon Parker and his family met with South Oak Cliff head coach Jason Todd to talk about recruiting and making a decision.
When the meeting was over Parker announced he was headed to Kansas.
Todd talked about meeting with the family and things they brought up in making a final decision.
“I think number one, it was a bond that he and Coach (Emmett) Jones formed over the last couple of years,” Todd said. “He felt like that he would have somebody to be there to guide him the same way that we guided him in high school.
“Number two, it was about just kind of getting away, going somewhere new. Going to start something at a program, rather than going to some program and just kind of riding the coattail of what was done in the past. I really think he wanted to go somewhere where he could set the trend, and set the tone for the future of Kansas football.”
When Jones was at Texas Tech he was able to secure his commitment. When Jones wasn’t retained Parker opened-up his recruiting. Todd is very familiar with Jones since they were on staff together at Lincoln, Skyline, and South Oak Cliff.
“He's a guy I would trust my son with,” Todd said of Jones. “A lot of college coaches come in, but they only come in when you have players. But he's one that would always be there, so he's a very loyal guy. And I know Parker’s in good hands, going there with him. He's going to treat him just like he would his own son.”
Parker finished his visit on Sunday and only needed a day to pick Kansas. Being around Les Miles for the weekend was another factor that played into it.
“Another big thing was Les Miles, and his success that he's had over the years,” Todd said. “And he said that he really could envision himself being a player underneath Les Miles.”
Parker won the 5A State Defensive Player of the Year after recording 18 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss. Eventually he chose Kansas over Nebraska, Texas Tech, and TCU.
“Kansas is going to get a guy that's going to come up there with a defensive mentality,” Todd said. “He’s going to come up there and give it his all. I think he's going to be a good starting point for the Kansas defense going forward in the future.
“Right now, one of his big strengths is his ability to be a pass rusher. He had 18 sacks this year and that was missing three games. He's just a relentless guy, that’s always in pursuit of the ball. I feel he's going to put on weight up there and play the run too. But he's a helluva pass rusher.”