TU ground game appeals to Jonathan Parker
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/25/13 at 2:44 PM
On Sept. 2 - the day after the University of Tulsa opened the 2012 football season with a loss at Iowa State - Jonathan Parker announced his commitment to the Golden Hurricane.
A running back from Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Parker chose TU over Northern Illinois (a program that was destined for an Orange Bowl appearance).
"I liked Northern Illinois," Parker explained in September, "but I loved Tulsa."
On Dec. 31, while watching the TU-Iowa State Liberty Bowl rematch, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Parker was reminded of one of the reasons why he feels so secure with his TU decision - the Golden Hurricane's commitment to its ground game.
During a third-quarter possession that began at the TU 24, the Hurricane offensive line demoralized the Iowa State defense. Trey Watts ran for 4, 3 and 48 yards. The methodical drive continued with four more 4-yard gains - two by Alex Singleton, one by Watts and one by quarterback Cody Green. Singleton's 1-yard dive resulted in the touchdown that gave Tulsa a 28-17 lead, and the Hurricane ultimately prevailed 31-17.
By game's end, TU had 60 rushing attempts for 317 yards. With a 245.7-yard average, the Hurricane finished ninth nationally in rushing offense.
"Oh, yeah - I saw what Tulsa did with their run game," Parker said. "I was loving the way they use their running backs."
Recruited by Hurricane special-teams coordinator Scott Downing and running backs coach Dan Bitson, Parker led his Christian Brothers team to an undefeated regular season and a final record of 11-1. During a regular-season win over rival De Smet Jesuit, Parker carried 15 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored TDs on a 72-yard pass play and a 90-yard kickoff return.
The same teams met in the postseason, with De Smet eliminating Christian Brothers. Parker is exceedingly familiar with a De Smet player - Donnie White - who stars at defensive end. White also is committed to TU.
Verbal commitments are non-binding. High school recruits may sign national letters of intent on Feb. 6. Several schools have continued to recruit Parker, but he says he remains "totally committed" to the Hurricane.
"I've been solid the whole time," he said. "I didn't look at any other places."
Parker plans to make an official visit to the TU campus on Jan. 25, saying, "That's the only visit I'll take."
Before answering his telephone to take a few questions from the Tulsa World, Parker was playing the NCAA Football 12 video game. His team: the University of Tulsa. His opponents: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Tulane. Parker reports that TU defeated all three.
"When I committed to Tulsa, the coaches said they wouldn't be talking to any other running backs," Parker said. "I know I made the right decision."
Original Print Headline: Tulsa's running game is appealing to Parker
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397