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4-star Alabama DE Tomarrion Parker has UGA among his final group of schools. (Instagram)

Tomarrion Parker: Why the prized Alabama 2023 DE has UGA among his top schools

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest with a top 100 overall prospect for the 2023 cycle in Alabama DE/OLD Tomarrion Parker of Central-Phenix HS in Phenix City, Alabama.

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Tomarrion Parker, a talented top 100 DE prospect out of Alabama, shared his top schools last week. It included a novelty as far as the recruiting game goes: A plus-one.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound DE has been a name to know regarding the Bulldogs for some time in the 2023 class. There have been times where Parker has named the Bulldogs as his outright leader.

He did not grow up in Alabama. He is originally from Knoxville. Military family. That will certainly qualify the Volunteers as a contender among that likely final group.

Parker wants to major in sports communications and he’s got a skill set for that as well as harassing quarterbacks, too.

The 4-star DE is seen as a hybrid DE/OLB type. Most schools, including UGA, are not settled on projecting what his body will do. If he adds more weight, he’s likely going to spend the bulk on his Saturday snaps with his hand in the ground.

If he stays around the 245-pound range, he has the tools to play on the edge. That’s something he said Georgia coach Kirby Smart identified in his game last June.

“He said he loved my film,” Parker said after that summer visit. “He loved how explosive I was. He loved my pass rush and how I get after the quarterback. My motor runs high. I really enjoyed talking to him.”

That was when he took his first in-person visit with the staff. He was struck by how the players worked. The Bulldogs were competing in everything, The little things. Who could bench press the fastest? Who could squat the fastest?

That was how a national championship team was forged.

“Man, I loved it,” he said back then. “I loved it. I actually loved it.”

He worked out last spring around 260 pounds on the camp circuit but didn’t feel right. His burst was missing. So he cut 20 pounds and has kept that weight off.

Parker was also in Athens as an invited guest for the championship celebration on January 15. It was another impactful visit Between the Hedges. He said Georgia checked all the boxes after that trip.

“They are recruiting me to play as an EDGE,” he said. “They want me to play a hybrid as well. Kind of like Nolan [what] Smith plays.”

When schools were allowed to reach out to the 2023 class last September, Georgia’s Will Muschamp established a key role.

“That’s my guy,” Parker said. “We have a close relationship. I can talk to him about anything. I’ve also started talking with coach [Tray] Scott of course and coach [Dell] McGee. He’s started to come around the school a lot more as well. I’ve built my relationship with those two as well. I have a good relationship with all three of them.”

He is also now being recruited by highly-regarded new “Wolfpack” (OLBs) coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe.

“We’ve been talking since he got the job and he is real cool,” Parker said this week. “That’s my guy and we talked last night. I can’t wait to see him in person.”

What is he like?

“He speaks with passion when he talks about the game and he breaks it down for me to understand very fast. He is going to challenge his players to be great,” Parker said.

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Tomarrion Parker: How he feels about Georgia football

What does he like best about the Bulldogs?

“What I like best is definitely their defense,” he said. “You can tell all year that they terrorized offensive lines and linemen in general. The defense plays with swag. They play together. They play as one. You can tell by that they had the No. 1 defense this year. I really like the way their defense can get off the ball.”

There have been times when Parker felt strongly about other schools. North Carolina was once very much on his mind but didn’t make his latest top group. Florida and Texas A&M were also once in that mix.

He had a clear opinion about his last UGA visit.

“It was a great time,” Parker said. “It was really a one-of-a-kind to be there. To be honest, it was a crazy atmosphere. Just being there. Feeling the vibes. Everybody was happy. Everybody was still excited about winning the game that Monday. Everybody was still kind of lit. I enjoyed it. Seeing the fans.”

“Seeing a packed-out stadium for a ceremony. Even though there was no game shows a lot. Shows how much the fans are dedicated to the team. How much of their time they put into the team. It shows a lot of passion. I like that a lot.”

That was his third visit.

“I can say it was the best time I had up there,” Parker said. “Just the atmosphere between the coaches and the recruits. Everybody had a good time smiling and laughing. Cutting up. The families were enjoying themselves up there as well. Seeing a smile on everybody’s face. Even the little kids running around with a football. With a helmet on.”

The best part was the photoshoot.

“Just spending time with the recruits who were there with you,” he said. “Just laughing. Playing. Doing different poses. Trying new things and talking with the coaches were some of the best parts. But my favorite part out of all that taking pictures was holding the crystal ball. I was scared to hold it.”

It was both scary and surreal.

“I was gripping it with like my life,” he said. “Like my life depended on it. I held it like I was a quarterback. As soon as the photos were done, I didn’t know what to do. I just froze and waited until three other people came to help me out with it. I didn’t want to be the one guy to drop it.”

“That’s a quick way to lose interest from a school.”

Parker chose the red-on-red look. That was his first time in that layout.

“It was beautiful,” he said. “When I first walked out with it Kirby Smart was talking with my parents and he turned around and saw me and said ‘Man, we might need to put that in the rotation’ and I hope they do. It is a really good color look.”

Parker picked the ‘Dawgs to win the rematch with the Crimson Tide. That’s not just because Georgia “RBU” legend Garrison Hearst is a distant family relative.

“Everybody said Alabama,” he said. “Everybody was saying they were fixing to ‘Dawgwalk Georgia. They were fixing to do all of this. I was telling everybody ‘Of course, you don’t be against Bama because Bama is going to be ‘Bama’ but at the same time, Georgia was working too now. They didn’t want to get embarrassed again how they were before. You can tell they wanted it that year.”

He was impressed by seeing the Georgia players return for the celebration.

“You got to see a lot of NFL players and the former Georgia players,” he said. “Like D’Andre Swift. They all came in and spoke. Talked to everybody. Have a good time. It was kind of cool going into the bathroom and you turn around and see Jordan Davis right there. Just towering over you.”

He still wanted to take things slowly with his recruitment after that visit. He needed to see Alabama, Auburn, Miami and Penn State after that January visit. Parker did go check out Alabama last month.

“Whenever I feel like the time is right I am just going to go ahead and commit,” Parker said. “I am not going to try to set a date.”

Parker had 15 sacks as a junior, including a scoop-and-score that covered approximately 40 yards.

4-star Alabama DE Tomarrion Parker has UGA among his final group of schools. (Instagram)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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Tomarrion Parker: The young man behind the No. 91 overall prospect

What is Tomarrion Jamar Parker looking for? He broke it down efficiently.

  • He wants to win and compete. Wants to be at a program that competes every day and wins on Saturdays.
  • Parker wants to go to a school with a strong sports media program. He can see himself as an NFL analyst on ESPN one day. “I want to major in that, man,” he said. “You know sports is not everything.”

“TJ” wore the No. 9 for that Georgia photo shoot. That’s because of a size issue. He usually wears the No. 3, but there were no mediums in that size.

“I knew I could not fit in no small jersey,” he said.

That No. 3 jersey reflects the way he is wired.

“That’s my three most important things,” he said. “It reflects that. God is always going to be first in my life. Next is my family. My family is always going to be there if no one else is. And of course, the third thing is the love of football for me. That’s my three favorite things.”

The way he plays the game matters to him.

“I give relentless effort,” he said. “I have some great pass rush ability. My technique is good. But I am always looking to improve myself. What stands out the most though is my leadership and my will to win.”

His Central Phenix-City HS program is a strong one in Alabama. Georgia sophomore WR Jackson Meeks was once a Red Devil. 5-star junior CB target AJ Harris has now moved from the Alabama private school ranks to his school as well.

That’s also the area where 5-star UGA freshman DL Mykel Williams comes from.

“That’s my boy,” he said. “I’m glad he chose the right school for him that fits him well. I feel like he will do great up there. His situation at Georgia is definitely a good one. I’m excited to see him grow up there.”

When Georgia spoke to him about his opportunity in Athens, there was no sugar coat. They only said he has a chance to compete. His skill set can earn a spot in the rotation. What he does with that, is up to what he shows on the practice field.

That might have been the best part of that January visit. Along with that photo shoot.

In his free time, he likes to cook. We’ll save the story about his homemade chicken sandwich for another time.

4-star Alabama DE Tomarrion Parker has UGA among his final group of schools. (Instagram)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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