|Elijah Parks of Central East in Fresno made a verbal commitment to San Jose State on July 28, adding to SJSU's list of recruits from the Central Valley (photo credit 247sports.com).|
San Jose State went to West Fresno to pluck away its latest prized signing from the Central Valley: Class of 2016 nose guard/defensive tackle Elijah Parks of Central East High School on July 28.
The 6-foot-3, 296-pound Parks is now the seventh Central Valley representative since 2014 to verbally commit to the Spartans, as he made the announcement on his Twitter page. He’s also the latest Central Grizzly to choose SJSU, as his former defensive back teammate Dehlon Preston accepted his pledge to join the Spartans’ 2015 recruiting class.
Parks said Preston and the Valley connection gave him enough leverage to choose the Silicon Valley Mountain West program.
“He (Preston) is like a big bro to me. So his influence helped make my decision,” Parks said.
He adds that SJSU has created a DB Guru pipeline; comprising of Central Section players who work out for veteran defensive back coach Tony Perry in Fresno. The Edison defensive back coach, who’s produced over 40 NCAA Division I prospects, has helped Preston, Andre Chachere (Clovis West) and Nautica Fleming (Bullard) sign with the Spartans.
“With the other DB Guru guys there, it’s just a better fit for me,” Parks said.
He’ll not only reconnect with his DB Guru peers, but Parks is continuing Central’s streak of producing an NCAA DI prospect. Since 2011, the Grizzlies have sent players to the Big 12, PAC-12, Big Sky and Mountain West Conference.
Last season, Parks was the menacing Grizzly who energized the Central front line. He bull rushed past centers and pounded running backs into the turf after firing off from his interior line spot. Parks, who lines up either head up or outside of a center’s shoulder, clawed through one-on-one blocks and became Central’s top run-stuffing defensive lineman in 2014-15.
He had a steamrolling showing at the Nike Opening Oakland Regional in April, as he took home the Defensive Lineman Most Valuable Player award.
San Jose State was Parks’ lone offer. He included SJSU’s atmosphere outside of football factored into his decision.
“I like the environment. It seemed really chill and the weather was great. Also, it’s close to home,” Parks said.
His other deciding point was the relationships he cultivated with the Spartan coaching staff.
Said Parks: “The coaches were great. They have a lot of knowledge about football, but they’re not all about football. They also want to push you to get a degree, which I like.”