Texas High’s Leonard Parks Commits to SMU
One of East Texas' best-kept secrets in the world of recruiting is suddenly off the market.
Texas High senior defensive end Leonard Parks announced via Twitter his decision to commit to SMU, early Saturday evening.
Parks (6-5, 230), who received his offer from SMU one week ago, chose the Mustangs over his other FBS opportunity from Louisiana-Monroe.
SMU now has 18 pledges in its 2018 recruiting class, two from East Texas. In addition to Parks, the Mustangs also hold a commitment from John Tyler linebacker Tre Allison.
The Texas High standout is the 20th player in the region's class to commit to an FBS program.
Parks shined at the ETSN Combine at APEC in Tyler on May 21.
On his way to earning honorable mention recognition in his position group, Parks was one of only four defensive linemen to record sub-5.0 times in the 40-yard dash. He also put up 12 bench press reps of 225 pounds and recorded a 34-inch vertical leap, which was good enough for fourth-best among all 87 of the event’s participants.
Texas High finished the 2016 regular season with a perfect 10-0 record before an upset loss in the first round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs. The defense limited opponents to 13.2 points per game.
Parks is one of three current Texas High players to own at least one FBS offer along with fellow rising senior and Kansas receiver commitment Tevailance Hunt as well as 2019 signal-caller Coltin Clack.
SMU will begin its third season with head coach Chad Morris this fall.
The Mustangs went 5-7 last season and simply needed to win one of their final two games to achieve bowl eligibility. While they didn’t accomplish a bowl appearance, the season was a three-win improvement compared to Morris’ first year and a four-win improvement versus the 2014 season.
While visiting Longview for a coaching clinic in January, Morris told ETSN.fm that he thinks his 2017 team will be the first of his tenure to compete for the American Athletic Conference championship.
Morris hired former Gilmer head coach and University of Texas assistant Jeff Traylor as SMU’s associated head coach and running backs coach earlier this year.
Parks will first become eligible to sign with any Division I program that offers him in December.
2018 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Tre Allison, John Tyler, OLB, 6-2, 211 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (7)
- Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Iowa State, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Texas, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (18)
- Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-3, 200 — committed to Texas Tech; additional offers from Arkansas State, Army, Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Wyoming (13)
- Hunter Brabham, Hughes Springs, DE, 6-3, 235 — committed to Army (1)
- Drake Centers, Tatum, OL, 6-3, 296 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from SMU, Southern Miss, ULM (4)
- Kylar Cooks, Liberty-Eylau, OL, 6-5, 252 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, ULL (4)
- Jeremiah Davis, Lufkin, CB, 5-10, 194 — committed to ULL (1)
- Kris Dike, Van, OL, 6-6, 283 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Colorado, Houston, Memphis, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Tulane (8)
- Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 209 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Mississippi State, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (6)
- Trae Hall, Henderson, QB/ATH, 6-3, 185 — offers from Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State, Tulane, ULL, ULM (5)
- Conner Henson, Harmony, OL, 6-3, 243 — committed to ULM; additional offer from ULL (2)
- Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 353 — committed to LSU; additional offers from Arizona, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Rice, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech (16)
- Tevailance Hunt, Texas High, WR, 6-2, 180 — committed to Kansas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, Nevada, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulsa (17)
- Dewaylon Ingram, Carthage, WR, 6-0, 160 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
- Keaontay Ingram, Carthage, RB, 6-0, 198 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Florida State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
- Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 163 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Texas State (3)
- Chris Kessler, Longview, K, 5-9, 150 — offer from Army (1)
- Kameron King, Marshall, OL, 6-2, 275 — offers from Memphis, North Texas, Tulane, ULM, Southern Miss (5)
- Trevor Lawrence, Whitehouse, DE, 6-4, 245 — committed to Texas State; additional offer from ULM (2)
- DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, S, 6-4, 196 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (30)
- Leonard Parks, Texas High, DE, 6-5, 230 — committed to SMU; additional offer from ULM (2)
- Michael Sanchez, Gladewater, TE/OL, 6-5, 327 — offer from Houston (1)
- Jonathan Shepherd, Kilgore, WR, 6-3, 196 — committed to Oklahoma State; additional offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Kansas State, ULM, Missouri, New Mexico, Memphis, North Texas, Oregon State, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech (15)
- Marje Smith, Marshall, DE, 6-6, 210 — committed to Baylor (1)
- DaRyan Williams, Nacogdoches, S, 5-10,199 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Washington State, Wyoming (16)