High School Football

‘I was like a kid on Christmas.’ Big-time recruit gets All-America jersey.

Frederick Douglass’ Homecoming pep rally had an extra element Friday as its standout offensive lineman Walker Parks received his Under Armour All-America Football Game jersey in front of the packed gymnasium.

“Fifty-nine first round (NFL Draft) picks played in this game, and we have one right here at Douglass,” his coach, Brian Landis, said in the announcement. “Walker, we’re so very proud of you and appreciate what you’ve done to support our team. Your teammates love you. Let’s keep doing this the right way.”

Parks has been doing a lot right as an offensive lineman for Douglass as one of the top recruits in the nation. He committed to defending national champion Clemson last fall and has been part of Douglass’ undefeated run through Class 5A so far this season.

Parks got the invitation to the game at an Under Armour camp last April in Cincinnati. It was not something he expected.

“They called my name and they held up the golden ticket and I had no (idea). I had a solid day, but I didn’t think I was going to get invited to the game, so when they called out my name I was like a little kid on Christmas,” Parks said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time, obviously, playing in one of the All-American games.”

The game, coming up on its 13th year, features 100 players from throughout the United States. It will be played Jan. 2 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Parks was the only Kentuckian chosen for the game.

“It’s really cool and I’ve got to get myself ready because I want to put on a good show for Frederick Douglass,” Parks said. “There’s a lot of talent playing in this game and I’ll be going against a lot of talent, too. There’s a bunch of other guys committed to Clemson going, so being around that level of talent … it’s only going to make me better, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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