Recruiting is a long game. Almost exactly one year ago, Blue Springs defensive end Daniel Parker Jr. became Missouri’s first 2018 commitment. A year later, after a decommit and an up-and-down recruitment, Parker reserved his spot for a second time, committing to the Tigers on Thursday.
This one’s big for any number of reasons. For starters, Parker is a good football player. His 247Sports Composite rating of 0.8680 rates him as the No. 19 strongside defensive end prospect in the country and the No. 8 prospect in-state. He is a four-star prospect per Rivals as well.
Assuming he stays on the defensive line — there has been talk for a while that he might be even better suited for the offensive line — he becomes the Tigers’ first commit there as well. There will be more to come.
It’s also big because Missouri is finally on the board with 2018’s in-state high school prospects. The school made a big show of offering 10 high-profile Missouri kids very early and then bringing them all to campus back in February.
The momentum quickly dissipated, however. Kansas City’s Mario Goodrich committed to Nebraska, St. Louis receiver Cameron Brown did as well (he has since decommitted), and St. Louis linebacker Ayodele Adeoye committed to Texas.
Missouri remains in reasonably good shape with four-star St. Louis stars Michael Thompson, Kamryn Babb, Ronnie Perkins, and Trevor Trout, and recent out-of-state momentum has certainly shifted the narrative for this Tiger class as a whole. But landing one of the original “Tiger 10” before the season begins is a wonderful boost. He joins JUCO transfer Harry Ballard as the only Missourians currently on the 2018 commit list.
Back to Parker as a player: he’s exciting and versatile.
His highlight film shows a player who is strong enough to play offensive tackle — when he gets his hands on you, you’re neutralized — but with a diverse set of pass rushing moves. He is fascinating in that he could end up at defensive end, defensive tackle, offensive guard, or offensive tackle, and we probably won’t find out for a while. He’s just a damn athlete.
PowerMizzou has more on Parker’s commitment. This has been an exciting week for Mizzou Football fans, and Parker just made it even more exciting. WELCOME (BACK), DANIEL.