The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Sports

June 19, 2014

Parker headed to Marshall

Jake Parker is one of the players representing Fayette County in the North-South Football Classic this week.

While Parker — like his N-S mates — hopes to perform well and add to his football résumé, he also has another goal this week, and that is to improve himself as he prepares to be a preferred walk-on at Marshall University this fall.

The former Meadow Bridge standout signed last week to attend Marshall and play football for the Herd.

“I just can’t wait to get up there,” Parker said of Marshall. While he considered enrolling at a handful of other schools, including Glenville, Parker said he liked the feel of Huntington. “When I went up there, it felt like home to me.”

In 2013, Parker led West Virginia high schoolers in rushing with 2,505 yards and 33 touchdowns on 283 carries. In his final two seasons in a Wildcat uniform, he rambled for 4,920 yards and 62 scores.

“He’s been a workhorse for us,” said Meadow Bridge coach Larry McClintic. “He carried the bulk of the load his junior and senior years (and made big contributions before that).”

“He was a tremendous leader for us, in the weightroom, on the field and around school,” McClintic added.

McClintic doesn’t doubt that Parker has the strength to hang with others in the MU camp, but he knows he will have a little more trouble adjusting to the pace of the college game at that level. “The speed factor will be the thing. He’s got a tough row to hoe.”

That’s one area in which Parker is hoping to pick up some pointers this week in the North-South camps.

“It will be another high school football game for me, but I hope to learn some speed drills there that I can work on this summer,” said Parker, who helped lead the ‘Cats to four straight postseason appearances but admitted some disappointment that they didn’t go deeper into the playoffs. “I believe I need a little work on my speed.

“It (Marshall) will be quite different from high school, but give me some time and I think I can compete.”

In the end, the 6-foot, 198-pounder just wants to “show people that I love to work hard.”

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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