Recruiting: Turns out USF won't always have Parris
Less than three weeks ago, when tight end Joshua Parris of Stone Mountain, Ga., committed to play for USF in 2012, we did what we usually do with commitments and asked if he was firm in his college choice, since signing day is still eight months away.
"Nothing can change my mind," he sent via text message. "I'm a Bull and I'm going to stay a Bull."
So yes, of course, Parris confirmed Monday night that he has decided to reopen his recruitment after a personal visit from USF assistant Larry Scott last week. Parris said Scott told him USF intended to use him primarily as a blocking fullback, and since his familiarity is as a pass-catching tight end, he's keeping his options open. He visited Mississippi this past weekend and has visits lined up this summer to Vanderbilt, Boston College and Louisville, though USF is still a possibility.
"They're not knocked out. It's still a good option for me," he said. "My whole life I've played tight end, and they want me to be a blocking fullback."
This is just conjecture, but if USF went out of its way to tell Parris he'd be a fullback and not a tight end, it might be by their design that he's reopening his recruitment. USF treats fullbacks and tight ends interchangeably -- they meet in the same room and cross-train extensively, and if you check USF's 2010 roster, they identify everyone in that group as a tight end. So to make a clear delineation between the two knowing it might turn away a recruit who was already committed might be an intentional mistake.
Parris is different from most USF commitments, in that he committed before he'd set foot on USF's campus, and before he'd met his position coach face-to-face. So given that he's still considering USF, this might be about both sides getting to know the other better. As we've mentioned before, USF is working to build a larger relationship with his high school, having signed running back Willie Davis to arrive this fall and with multiple offers out to Parris' 2012 classmates.