Will Parks, the Germantown High football standout named to the all-state team after helping lead his team to the Public League playoffs last fall, said this weekend that his future plans had changed.
Parks, a cornerback, had initially committed to play for the University of Pittsburgh, but after watching its coaching staff leave for other schools, he decided to follow suit.
On Friday, he flew to the University of Arizona, to visit with a program that now included the Pitt defensive coach who had recruited him. On Saturday, after committing to Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez, he Tweeted the news which drew some blowback from Pitt fans.
However, on Sunday, Parks told NewsWorks that while he will now be substantially further away from Philadelphia, he sees the shift as great both personally and for getting word out about Philadelphia public-league talent.
“Not too many public-league players get this kind of opportunity,” he said of playing in a Pac 12 league that’s home to title-contending programs like USC and the University of Oregon. “When I got to Arizona on Friday, I just smiled, knew it felt right. I saw cactuses. It was 75 degrees and I went to a swim meet vs. Texas, in January!”
Parks said his family supports the decision with his mother and grandmother saying he had to do what’s best for him. He said he faces the same challenges he did to crack the starting lineup at Arizona as he did at Pitt.
“I have to work to get on that field, have to keep that drive,” he said. “Things happened for a reason.”
Parks plans on arriving in Tucson at the end of June to get a head start on classes and football conditioning. The first game of the season is Sept. 1 when the Wildcats host Toledo.