WVU Commit Parker Likens Game to Tavon Austin - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Commit Parker Likens Game to Tavon Austin

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MORGANTOWN -

Lamar Parker likes the idea of following in the footsteps that brought Tavon Austin through West Virginia and on to the NFL.

Sure, the latest addition to the Mountaineers' 2014 recruiting class may be coming to Morgantown by way of Florida as opposed to Austin's Maryland, but the hope for results once he gets to campus remain the same.

"They have little receivers like me, my size, who make plays," Parker said Tuesday after committing to WVU. "They're fast and they use them a lot in the passing game. I can play like that."

Parker is listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, so calling himself a little receiver is perfectly accurate.

His highlight tape is not a thing of YouTube legend just yet, but his speed and his hands are things he prides himself on as a football player and when he watched Austin run through Big 12 defenses, he fancied an opportunity to do the same.

One thing Parker can be certain of if he signs with WVU and arrives in town for the 2014 season is that if he proves he is anything at all like Austin, head coach Dana Holgorsen's offense will give him plenty of chances to capitalize on it.

"It's really exciting," Parker said of playing in the so-called "Air Raid" offense. "I think I can just come out there and do the same thing that [Austin] did with the offense."

It's a stretch, certainly, and no one is about to declare that a rising high school senior out of Booker T. Washington is the next Tavon Austin. In fact, many would tell you there is no next Tavon Austin and if he exists, he won't be coming through college football in this generation.

Still, the player's accomplishments, his highlight reel and his No. 8 overall NFL Draft selection made headlines across the country. It isn't a bad thing for the Mountaineers' coaching staff to go into a prospect's living room and be able to reference such a talented athlete as having been one of their own.

"Every kid that I am recruiting [in Florida] that is a skill player, they all have Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin on their background on Facebook and I sure use it and I am going to keep on using it," said WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider, who was in charge of recruiting Parker to Morgantown.

Seider may be exaggerating a bit by saying that every player he recruits has that background, but even if a handful of them do, his job becomes substantially simpler. Point to that image on Facebook and tell the kid he could be the next one. It worked with Parker.

"We've got a good relationship," Parker said of Seider. "We just talk about how the school is, how the program is run and things like that."

Parker felt connected enough to the University and its football program that he made his commitment without once setting foot on campus. That visit will come, but when it does, he will already have a sense of belonging since he has added his name to the recruiting class.

"I think that's a nice program for me. I think I can fit in with the offense they run," said Parker. "It's not just about it football. It's about the school, the academics and things like that."

For Parker, the athletic scholarship is certainly about more than just football as he's given an opportunity not many have to further their education for free. Still, the Mountaineer fans want to know what sort of player they're getting on the field, and Parker is eager to tell them.

"I'm dedicated to it, I love it and I make plays," said Parker. "I'll do whatever I can for my team."

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