USC recruiting notebook: Parkinson emerging as big-time prospect


Class of 2017 tight end Colby Parkinson has seen his stock rise over the course of the current season, a fact reflected in a big new offer that came his way recently from the USC Trojans.

Part of a Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian team that also includes Class of 2016 Trojans early-entrant signee Michael Pittman, Parkinson had another strong showing this past Friday night in the Lions’ 48-6 victory over Thousand Oaks (Calif.), hauling in two passes for 18 yards and one touchdown, while also making an impact at defensive end, as well as on special teams as a long-snapper.

A victory that also included a 285-yard rushing effort by Gil’Scott Jackson, it pushed Oaks Christian’s record to a perfect 7-0 on the season.

“It was a huge team effort,” said Parkinson, who stands 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds. “We came out and we dominated in every aspect of the game. Gil had a huge game tonight, and every game it can be someone else. It can be me, it can be Gil, it can be Pittman … we have so many weapons and you can’t stop all of us.”

In addition to the Trojans, Parkinson also holds offers from Cal, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Washington and Washington State, but at this early stage of the process he’s still completely open.

“As of now, I have a top 6, and those are my six offers,” said Parkinson, who noted that he hopes to major in architecture or engineering in college.

Still, having grown up watching USC, he admitted that his newest offer is significant.

“It really means a lot to get that offer, especially being a local school,” Parkinson said. “I’ve loved SC since I can remember, so to get an offer from them, it’s definitely one to beat for sure.”

Like many Southern California prospects, Parkinson watched the Trojans’ disappointing 17-12 loss to Washington on TV last Thursday. When asked if USC’s less-than-stellar showing could have an impact on his line of thinking, Parkinson gave an interesting response, particularly in light of Monday’s announcement that Steve Sarkisian has been terminated as head coach of the Trojans.

“I don’t think so, because everything can change so much in two years,” Parkinson said. “People can come and go, so it just depends. I’m not really sure where I’m going to go yet. I’m really just taking it easy and trying to focus on this season.”

One person that Parkinson has already built up a strong relationship with at USC, however, is tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo, whom he’s been sure to keep close tabs on during the two Trojans games that he’s taken in this year -- Idaho and Stanford.

“I watch Coach Tuiasosopo, and how he interacts with his players,” Parkinson said. “That’s a big thing. I love Coach Tui. He’s a great guy, and it would be fun to interact with him going there.

We haven’t really talked about what kind of plans that he has for me, but he said that he likes my ability to stretch the field, but most importantly he wants me to stay the same. He doesn’t want me to change who I am based off my offers.”

Another school that Parkinson checked out recently, but that hasn’t offered at this point, is Stanford.

“They’re a top-caliber team, a top-caliber school, so the interest is obviously there,” Parkinson said. “I’m interested in a lot of schools, but Stanford is up there.”

As just a junior, however, Parkinson is making an effort to keep his recruitment on the back burner for now, choosing instead to focus on the season at hand.

“We have a bye next week, but I want to be 8-0 in two weeks,” Parkinson said. “I’m more focused on that than any of my offers or anything like that. It’s more important, and that’s what I’m focused on.”

News and notes

-- Following the news of Sarkisian’s leave of absence and eventual firing, Class of 2016 linebacker Daelin Hayes, who recently signed early-enrollment papers with the Trojans, announced his de-commitment from USC.

-- Also on Sunday, ESPN 300 tight end Isaac Nauta announced he will no longer take an official visit to USC on the weekend on Nov. 7, and that he will now use that trip on Alabama.

-- USC recently offered a pair of Class of 2017 standouts in two-way lineman Chuck Filiaga (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) and defensive end Javaris Steward (Pomona, Calif./Pomona).

-- Among the recruits who took in the Trojans’ loss to Washington in the Coliseum last Thursday were Class of 2016 USC commits Liam Jimmons, C.J. Pollard and Trevon Sidney, Class of 2016 prospect Oluwole Betiku (UCLA commit), Class of 2017 USC commits Stephen Carr, Thomas Graham Jr. and Amari Rodgers, Class of 2017 prospects Martin Andrus, Greg Johnson, Joseph Lewis and Steward, and Class of 2018 prospect Jalen Hall.