Earlier this week, Xaverian High offensive tackle Joe Parsons gave a verbal commitment to UMass, becoming the first in-state pledge for head coach Mark Whipple's 2015 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Parsons had one other Division 1 offer, from FCS upstart Coastal Carolina, and also had some interest from UConn. He is the third Bay State lineman in a span of four months to commit to an in-state FBS program, joining Shepherd Hill's Chris Lindstrom and Brockton's Aaron Monteiro, who both committed to Boston College earlier this spring.
"I had a few other programs [with interest]. UConn wanted me to come to camp, then they'd offer based on my camp and senior film," Parsons said. "But I didn't care for the rest of them. I felt like UMass was my fit."
Parsons spoke with ESPNBoston.com yesterday for a few more comments on his commitment:
Deciding factors: "The way they kind of decided to pull me in not only as a player, but as a type of family, so to speak. For example, every member of the coaching staff sent me at least one hand-written letter. I've been up there few times. I'm good friends with one of the players on the team currently [defensive back Joe Colton], and he explained it to me not as a person trying to recruit me, but as a friend."
Where he projects on the line: "Anywhere on the o-line, really. As long as I can get playing time, I'm happy with wherever. But I don't know much about what they want for me."
Is he athletic enough to play tackle in college? "I'm not sure. I know they like me as a tackle, but we haven’t really talked about where they're going to put me."
His most valuable asset as a lineman: "I think how physical I am, and how I use more power than I do speed and agility. I think the physical aspects that I provide is more what see in me than anything else."
On being the first in-state commitment for UMass' 2015 recruiting class: "It feels great. Hopefully that can spur a few more local guys to commit. I'm excited."