A highly regarded defensive lineman from Alabama has heard from a slew of schools – including Clemson – since Sept. 1, when college coaches were allowed to start initiating contact with prospects in the class of 2023.
Central High School (Phenix City, Ala.) four-star defensive end Tomarrion Parker – a consensus top-130 national prospect according to the major recruiting services – told TCI that the Tigers are among the teams he has been in contact with since the calendar turned to September.
“I’ve been hearing from coaches I’ve been talking to for a while like Georgia, Florida, Clemson and all that,” Parker said. “And then I’ve been hearing from new coaches that I haven’t talked to like Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Louisville, UCF. Schools like that, they’ve been texting me, and I’m getting to know them. I’m excited about the new journey.”
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall both reached out to Parker, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior, right when Sept. 1 rolled around.
“Coach Venables and Coach Hall texted me (on Sept. 1), saying they’re still watching me, recruiting me,” Parker said. “He said they’ll be down here for a game. He didn’t tell me which game they’re coming down here for to watch me play. But they’re definitely coming down for a game, and I’m excited about that, to get to see me in person and watch me go to work.”
Parker was honored that coaches from a program of Clemson’s caliber thought enough of him to get in touch as soon as coaches were allowed to begin actively recruiting juniors in the 2023 class.
“It felt good knowing they still believe in me and picking up on that relationship we’ve been building up for a while,” Parker said. “It’s exciting to know that they’re still interested in me and going to watch me during the season.”
In late July, Parker released a top seven comprised of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Clemson wasn’t included in Parker’s list of top schools, as the Tigers have not yet offered him, though that would certainly change if they pull the trigger on an offer moving forward.
“They would instantly be a top school, of course,” he said. “I’m excited for them to see that even though I’ve gained the weight I have right now and the way I move, I’m still moving how I was my sophomore year. So, I can’t wait to let them see that in person.”
As of now, Parker doesn’t have a timetable for his college decision.
“I’m still figuring all that out,” he said. “I still want to make trips to different places before I even think about committing anywhere soon.”
Parker attended Auburn’s home game against Akron last Saturday and was slated to be in Knoxville for Tennessee’s game against Pittsburgh today. He was looking to schedule trips to Florida, Georgia and North Carolina this season and hoping to arrange a game-day visit to Clemson as well.
Over the summer, Parker traveled to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee along with Clemson.
When he reflects on his visit to Clemson in June, a few things stand out to him.
“They were really high on education, and tradition is a big thing over there, and I really like tradition,” he said. “And their coaching staff is set in stone and most of them aren’t one-and-done years. They stick around for a while.”
Parker is ranked as a top-130 national prospect in the 2023 class regardless of position by 247Sports (No. 101), ESPN (No. 113) and Rivals (No. 130). ESPN considers him the No. 12 defensive end in the class.
Last season, Parker tallied 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks en route to MaxPreps Sophomore All-American honors.
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