Recruiting: Parks’ early favorite: Virginia
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA ó A familiar slogan north of the North Carolina border is “Virginia is for Lovers.”
The question now is, will Virginia Cavalier fans be lovers of K.P. Parks?
The West Rowan All-American running back said on Thursday afternoon Virginia has moved to the top of his college wish list.
“I’m leaning toward them,” the junior phemon declared.
Parks made a visit to Charlottesville last week and said he was impressed with the campus, the town and the coaching staff.
“I liked everything about Virginia,” Parks said. “It’s a beautiful, historic place.”
He also likes the style of Al Groh’s offense.
“They’re a spread running team,” he said.
Parks noted he wants a school that likes to run, and why not? He will enter his senior season with a chance to break the state record for career carries. During his first three years at West, he tucked the ball under his arm a whopping 963 times for coach Scott Young.
With those carries, he has accumulated 7,121 yards and 99 touchdowns. He scored three times in a 35-7 3A state championship victory over West Craven, played in nearby Winston-Salem.
And while the team that plays on BB&T Field, Wake Forest, has not offered, Virginia became the latest, joining Illinois and East Carolina.
“We were eating lunch and Coach Groh came to my table,” Parks said. “That’s when he offered me. He said I’d have a lot of success school-wise and on the football field.”
Parks has stayed busy with visits to Clemson, East Carolina and N.C. State planned, starting this weekend. He said that despite being so impressed with Virginia, he will honor those trips.
“I’m going to take my other visits,” Parks said. “I owe it to myself and I owe it to the coaches because I told them I was coming.”
Parks said he also was impressed with a visit to Duke and the direction coach David Cutcliffe is taking that program.
“It’s a great school,” Parks said. “I loved it down there. They were saying, ‘We are Duke. We’re on the rise. We’re up and coming.’ ”
Just because Parks says he is leaning toward Virginia at this point doesn’t mean he has made a commitment. He’s enjoying himself knowing he will have multiple choices.
“I’m going to ride it out,” he said.
Parks did say he wanted to get the process over with by the start of his senior football season.
“It’s a good thing,” he said. “You want to be stress-free. Once you make that commitment, you should be a man of your word and be happy with it.”