The second commit in the Stanford 2017 recruiting class is TE Colby Parkinson. Colby Parkinson is a local product from Westlake Village, CA, and attended Oaks Christian High School.
Parkinson is a 4-star recruit according to 247sports and the number 5 TE prospect in the country. This will mark the second year in a row Stanford will be getting a top tier TE prospect after signing Kaden Smith last year. Parkinson tweeted his commitment on Dec. 19th--just 1 day after Stanford had offered him a scholarship. To be more exact, it was 21 hours and 36 minutes later. According to Parkinson, Stanford is his "dream school".
Go Cardinal pic.twitter.com/ySrWnrTCXh— Colby Parkinson (@CJ51) December 19, 2015
At first glance, Colby Parkinson is a monster mismatch, listed as 6'6" and 225lbs (the same height as Gronkowski and Ertz). All kids that go to college put on weight (whether they are student athletes or just students), so his weight won't be a problem. He also has another year in high school to get bigger and gain some muscle. In high school, it is nearly impossible to stop guys that are 6'6" tall and Parkinson is no exception. He towers over all the DBs or LBs that are unlucky enough to cover him, and usually makes them pay by gaining first downs. He is so big that it often takes defenses 2 or 3 players to even tackle him. In addition to his toughness, size, and strength, his range is another great asset. QBs can loft up balls for him and he easily outjumps the defenses. Parkinson can also use his incredible length to give his QBs some margin for error. Length and range are just as important as toughness in a TE: for example look at the 6'4" Richard Rodgers and what he did to the Lions.
His physical size and stature are an incredible asset to his game, but another skill Parkinson has is his soft hands. His ability to catch the ball away from his body is hard to do at his size. This makes him even more special in the passing game, and can be utilized in either short yard situations or throwing over the safeties. In Parkinson's offense in high school, it looks like he is being utilized the same way Stanford will utilize him. He runs a lot of over-the-middle routes, streaks down the seam, and goes out in the flat. This is good, so that when he comes to Stanford he knows what is expected of him.
The ability to block is another key trait for TEs. The struggle of blocking as a tall TE is keeping your hands in between the shoulder pads. Parkinson does that pretty well, maintaining a low center of gravity and driving up with his hands. Obviously his blocking can always be improved, but Parkinson has a good idea of how to place his hands inside the shoulders and is strong enough to just push the defender over.
Check out Colby Parkinson's highlights courtesy of Hudl and also check out the Stanford class of 2017: