Tim Sullivan of MGoBlog.com here. When we thought Parker was likely to end up in Blue, I did some research on him for our site. Hope you guys find this useful, and congrats on landing Sean.
|4*, #6 S||4*, #21 S||4*, 82, #5 S|
Parker is a consensus 4* recruit, and Rivals is the slight outlier calling him just the 21st-best safety in the country, with both Scout and ESPN putting him in the top six at the position. ESPN's evaluation:
Parker is an exceptional athlete that can play a multiple number of positions. He is especially impressive as a safety and return specialist. Even though he lacks ideal size, he is extremely active and is a big play maker both sides of the football and on special teams. A very aggressive safety that reads and reacts very well and isn't afraid of contact. Although he is a little high at times, he really likes to unload on ball carriers and receivers.
I think that's a pretty good summary of Parker's game: very instinctive, loves to hit, but doesn't yet have the body of a top-flight college safety. If he was more of a workout warrior, there's a good chance that Parker would be a 5-star (at least to Scout, which gives out that distinction to the most prospects and had him rated as a 5-star prospect earlier in the year).
For someone as high-profile as Parker, there are surprisingly few evaluations of his talent. ESPN gives the following report on his game from the Nike camp at USC last spring:
Sean Parker (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) came in with a big reputation, but he didn't stand out as much as we have seen from him in the past. Parker is one of the hardest-hitting safeties around, and obviously that talent won't come through in a camp setting. Also, there's no doubt he deserves to be mentioned among the best in the area. He displayed very good footwork in drills.
His style of game (big hitter) doesn't come across in camp settings, which generally are non-contact affairs. For lack of better options, GBMW evaluates him based on Youtube Highlights:
CoachBt / ErocWolverine quick comments: He is a very good safety prospect and excellent special team player. He is a physical tackler who is equally good against run or pass. Can be over aggressive and give up outside leverage and does lunge when tackling at times.
Notre Dame recruiting expert Mike Frank thinks he's got the skills to play a number of positions at the next level:
"He'll probably play free safety because of how well he can run. He could play corner, but he's a big body, too," Frank said. "He's a tremendous talent and I think he's one of the very top players in the country. He's as elite as you're going to get."
Parker is a multi-dimensional player as well, playing receiver, running back, safety, punt returner and even linebacker for Narbonne this season. Before the 2009 season, he was considered "arguably the top safety in the West."
Parker had offers from just about everybody who's anybody, including the in-state USC Trojans who, though they aren't the recruiting juggernaut this year (that honor goes to Florida and Texas this year), can be verry selective with who they offer nonetheless. The Trojans and Washington were Parker's other finalists, though he had favored Notre Dame and Penn State very early in the process.
He also racked up offers from the likes of everyone else in the PAC-10, along with Notre Dame, Tennessee, Alabama, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Penn State, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the list goes on. Seriously, basically everybody except
Florida (wait yes they did) and Texas offered this kid. He's a big get.
The only schools of note that seemed not to offer are LSU and Texas, which oh well, they're the only two (and they don't need to leave their state very much to recruit top players).
Parker could be the top safety in the state next year. He totaled 68 tackles and six picks to earn first team all-city, all-area and first team all-state underclass by CalHiSports.com
That earned him pre-season All-State first team honors going into his senior year. As a senior, he was named his league's All-Purpose Player of the year and first-team All-City on defense His final stats are tough to find, but he had at least 9 receiving touchdowns, a couple rushing touchdowns, and at least 3 interceptions defensively, one of which was returned for 73 yards to the house. He also returned kicks for Narbonne, taking at least one back 99 yards for a touchdown.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals reports a 4.55-second 40 yard dash time for Parker, and neither of the other services has a time. For a safety prospect who isn't that big yet, and has the speed to apparently play corner, that not FAKE at all. I miss the good ol' days of 4.3-second reports for linebackers. One FAKE out of five.
The next two sections are not going to be relevant, since he didn't end up in Ann Arbor. Hope the rest was of some value to you guys
-Tim Sullivan, mgoblog.com.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
With Michigan's need for immediate help, and Parker's aptitude for the game, he should be able to step in and contribute immediately. Unfortunately, he's the type of guy who needs a bit more physical development, and would have been very well-served by enrolling early, and getting into the offseason weight-training program.
Still, there's almost no chance that Parker redshirts, unless there's a JT Turner-esque snafu and he doesn't arrive in Ann Arbor until fall camp is well underway. He has a chance to challenge for a starting safety position as a true freshman, or at least a key backup role. With his talent, freshman All-conference honors aren't out of the question.
It's after his freshman year, however, that Parker will probably blow up. With a year in the system under his belt, and a chance to hit the weights full time in the off-season, he can be transformed into an all-purpose machine of destruction going into his sophomore year, and hopefully be an All-American candidate as a junior and senior.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Parker's commitment was somewhat expected, and it's one of the last in the class. It won't change the coaches' pursuit of Demar Dorsey or Rashad Knight, and has more effect on next year's recruiting class numbers.