Make that two in-state tackles staying home in Tennessee. On Friday, 3-star William Parker out of Pearl-Cohn High School in Nashville committed to the Volunteers.
Parker is 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, ranked as the 413th overall player and 34th offensive tackle in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Tennessee was viewed as the favorite here for quite some time. We even mentioned Parker as the next possible commit in a previous article. The end of August brought increased chatter that Alabama was going to push for him and grab his commitment—but it seems the Volunteers held off that push and he stuck with his original choice.
The obvious discussion will be comparing Parker to recent commit J’Marion Gooch, who flipped to the Volunteers on Monday. You can read our analysis of his game here.
I think Parker is better at this very moment, but has a lower ceiling. I think he’s better suited for right tackle, whereas Gooch could be a future starter at left tackle. Parker is listed at 6-foot-5 but he doesn’t look that lengthy on tape. I’m also not sure he’s flexible enough to play the left tackle spot. He seems a bit stiff in pass blocking and gets by on the high school level with superior power.
But it’s undeniable that Parker is a wrecking ball of a lineman. His initial punch at the line is lethal, and he can totally erase a defender from a play. Parker looks comfortable as a run blocker and has no issue gaining leverage on these plays. Even his pass block reps show a lot of power and violent hands. If not right tackle, Parker could very well move to the interior and do really well.
Much like Gooch, Parker shows a lot of potential as a defensive tackle as well. He actually might be better suited for this position because of his physical build. Parker is closer to contributing at either spot than Gooch at this point in time.
This commitment means Tennessee has three offensive tackles in the class, and likely just one remaining on the board: 5-star Amarius Mims.
Parker’s commitment is the 26th of the class, and keeps the Volunteers at 6th in the class rankings.