The offensive line provided Blue Springs senior Daniel Parker Jr. an opulent residence for four seasons. He expressed an affection for knocking someone over on a block and subsequently watching a teammate coast into the end zone.
But he long ached to try something new, to perhaps attempt to play on the contrasting side of the line of scrimmage. He finally talked his way onto the defense this season.
It’s his new permanent home.
On Wednesday, Parker signed a letter of intent to play college football at Missouri, where he intends to join the Tigers’ defensive line.
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“It will be better for me that I can focus on one side of the ball,” he said. “I can focus on fine-tuning my technique. I feel like I still have a lot of raw talent there, and I have a lot of room to improve.”
Parker had 17 sacks in his senior season and played his best football during the postseason, in which Blue Springs advanced to the Missouri Class 6 state championship. He added 22 tackles for loss.
“Man, I just like hitting people,” he said. “When a coach tells me (to) pass rush and get the quarterback, that’s one of my favorite things to do.”
He committed to Missouri twice. After initially making that announcement as a junior, he briefly re-opened his recruitment before selecting Missouri a second time.
There was little hesitation Wednesday. Parker said he signed his letter of intent within a few minutes after waking up.
“It was fun to enjoy for a while, but toward the end, I just wanted to hurry up and put my name on that piece of paper,” he said. “I had the best relationship with their coaches. And it’s right down the street, so my parents can come watch me play.”