published Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Lithonia's Parker commits to Chattanooga Mocs

UTC football commitments

C.J. Fritz (McCallie) DB

Bailey Lenoir (East Hamilton) TE

Isaiah Mack (Northwest Whitfield) DL

Montrell Pardue (Northeast) LB/S

Branden Parker (Miller Grove) OL

Cam Walker (McCallie) OL

Tim Whatley (Columbus Carver) LB

Branden Parker couldn't even wait for his official visit to end before making a decision. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound two-way lineman from Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Ga., committed to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football staff Saturday evening, giving the Mocs seven commitments in the current class.

"I knew once I put that jersey on and walked out on the field that this is where I wanted to be," said Parker, one of 11 recruits making their official on-campus visits this weekend. "This is a program that's on its way up and going to do big things, and I want to help and be a part of that.

"I just liked everything about the visit. I like where it's located, so my family can drive up in just a couple of hours to watch us. And I like the atmosphere around it, the coaches, the city, the campus. I won't be making any more visits. This is where I want to be."

Parker, who played both offensive and defensive tackle for Miller Grove, is projected to play offensive tackle or guard for the Mocs. He also had offers from Appalachian State, Furman, Samford, Presbyterian, Ball State and William & Mary. According to Miller Grove coach Damien Wimes, Parker also was being recruited by Rice University.

"They're getting a very good player," Wimes said. "He's real tough and very athletic. He can move for a guy his size, and he's also a student of the game. He's a real bright kid who comes from a good family, so I think it's a real good fit for him.

"That's a program that's on the way up. I know that staff is building something big for the future there, and I think Branden is really going to help them a lot."

Contact Stephen Hargis at or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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