Nebraska head coach Mike Riley shared his desire to attack the Kansas City area for the 2018 recruiting class, and players like Daniel Parker Jr. are a big reason why. The 6-3, 245-pound Parker is coming off a dominant performance as a junior, as he earned first-team all state honors as an offensive lineman while leading Blue Springs High School to an 11-3 record and the Missouri Class 6 state finals. By the end of the year, a couple of things specifically stood out to Parker about his team.
“We grew so much as a team throughout the season and we did a great job of fighting with our teammates no matter what adversity we faced,” Parker said.
Parker is in a bit of a strange spot entering his senior year. He has proven to be a dominant performer on both sides of the line of scrimmage, making it tough for some colleges to pick which side to play him on. Parker has no preference and is keeping an open mind for his recruiting process.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you which position I prefer right now,” Parker said. “Eventually it’s going to be a tough decision, but I’m accepting interest and offers for both sides of the ball at this point.”
If Parker’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he first came onto Nebraska’s radar following an impressive performance at Nebraska’s Big Man Camp last June. Parker worked extensively with defensive line coach John Parrella and the 2018 prospect quickly impressed. As a result, he received an offer before he even left Lincoln.
“The Nebraska camp was a great environment and I really liked what I saw,” Parker said. “The facilities were really nice and I really liked Coach Parrella, but I really haven’t heard much from Nebraska lately.”
Parker’s recruiting stock jumped quickly after receiving his Nebraska offer and the Kansas City native now holds seven FBS offers, including offers from Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. Parker states that all seven of the schools that offered him are equal at this point.
“I do not have a set time for when I want to commit, ” Parker said. “I also don’t have a distance range either, as long as the school has a great family environment then the distance from home won’t matter to me.”
Parker spent the past weekend in Lawrence visiting Kansas, where he came away impressed by the new facilities.
“The new locker room really caught my attention,” said Parker. “I definitely like their facility.”
When asked about his greatest attribute on the football field, Parker said that his quickness and hand placement were his biggest positives. He expressed a desire to improve his leadership and ability to bring his teammates together now that he was entering a leadership role as a senior.
For those wanting Parker to commit to Nebraska, one thing going for the Huskers is the presence of Carlos and Kahlil Davis, two former Blue Springs stars that are now contributors on the Blackshirt defense. While Parker doesn’t expect the Davis twins to impact his decision, he has a great deal of respect for both which could be a major positive for Nebraska.
“Carlos and Kahlil are two of my favorite people that I know,” Parker said. “But the path I choose to take will be up to me, so they won’t influence my decision.”
As for making his decision, Parker has a some criteria in mind.
“The willingness of college coaches to talk to me and my family about things other than just football will be a big factor,” Parker said. “I’ll also be looking at how they build relationships with me and if they truly care about my academics.”
Husker fans are sure to like Parker, as he takes a very sincere approach to recruiting.
“I want coaches that truly care about me [and] not guys that will promise me starting spots and clothes just to get a commitment,” Parker said.
Parker is one of six Missouri prospects that Nebraska has already offered in 2018 and the Huskers are looking to capitalize on their neighbor state’s best recruiting class in recent memory.