Three-hundred sixty-eight days later, Blue Springs two-way star Daniel Parker Jr. is back in the fold for Missouri football.
Parker, who the Tigers recruited as a defensive end/outside linebacker, made his mother sob joyful tears last July when he initially committed to Mizzou.
Six weeks later, Parker reopened his recruitment and, in February, told The Star after MU’s Junior Day for vaunted 2018 in-state prospects that he’d probably wait until after his senior season to commit anywhere.
Parker didn’t wait that long in the end, recommitting to the Tigers on Thursday and announcing the decision by posting a pick arm-in-arm with Missouri head coach Barry Odom.
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“The thought of going to Mizzou has been in the back of my head ever since I de-committed and I just felt like the time was right,” Parker said in a text exchange with The Star.
Parker (6-3, 240) is the first in-state high school senior to commit to the Tigers during the 2018 recruiting cycle and the ninth verbal commitment the program has picked up this week.
He confessed that during the last year Iowa briefly took the lead as he preferred destination, but the dogged pursuit by Odom and his staff won him over again.
They “really just never gave up on me and maintained a great relationship,” Parker said.
He’s a Rivals four-star prospect and is listed as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN and Scout.
According to 247 Sports’ composite ranking, Parker is the No. 8 prospect in Missouri and the No. 19 strong-side defensive end in the country.
He announced a top six that included the Tigers and Hawkeyes along with Minnesota, Iowa State, Kentucky and Central Florida earlier this month.
Parker also boasted offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, Illinois, Arizona State, Purdue, Cornell and Yale.
Mizzou has offered 10 in-state prospects — seven of whom are four-star talents, according to Rivals — but Parker is the first to commit to the Tigers.
Seven others, including William Chrisman defensive end Daniel Carson, remain uncommitted.