On the same day SMU put on a dominating performance against Stephen F. Austin, a big time recruit passed away. Leonard Parks, a defensive end for Texas High, passed away on Saturday in his sleep.
According to Scout.com, Parks played in his Friday high school game, but tragically passed away the next day. We can only hope that football was not a part of his cause of death as that has still yet to be determined.
Parks was coming into his senior year at a large frame of 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, and figured to cause havoc on opponents’ offensive line. He was hoping to have a huge breakout season that could have given him many other options to play Division 1 football. He also had offers from University of Lousiana-Monroe, Missouri State and Southern Illinois, in addition to SMU.
His high school coach said, in an interview with Scout, “He leads by example. He doesn't take plays off...He's really been a leader during our summer workouts. When they're running he's gonna be first every time. He sets the speed for everybody.”
Chad Morris and SMU were alerted of the incident and made a statement on Sunday.
As far as recruiting goes, losing a talented three-star recruit with room to develop always hurts. Parks was rated by 24/7 at .8214 as their seventh best recruit and second best defensive lineman (but the best at his position). After the incident, it drops SMU’s total recruiting class to 18, ranking 6th best in the AAC. Chad Morris will most certainly look to get another defensive end to fill his scholarship, as that is a position in need of work, due to SMU’s poor 2016 run defense.
RIP Leonard Parks: You won’t be forgotten.