He’s a favorite among coaches and players. And if he gets his way, he may turn out to be a favorite among Alabama State football fans as well.
Shawan Parks probably isn’t 62 inches tall, although the ASU roster lists him at 5-foot-2. He probably doesn’t weigh 160 pounds, either. You know how those media guides make everyone an inch taller and a few pounds heavier, just to intimidate opponents.
Well, nothing could make Parks an intimidating player. But he’s certainly fun to watch.
In a Saturday scrimmage where offense was hard to find, walk-on quarterback Dashawn Blow and Parks turned in the play of the day when Blow threaded the needle with an over-the-middle pass to a diving Parks for a 28-yard gain.
Let me tell you, hitting a target that small down the field is no easy task.
“You’re talking about two of the smallest guys on the team, Blow and ‘Hushpuppy,’” said ASU coach Reggie Barlow, referring to Parks, as he always does, by his nickname. “It was a good completion.
“And when you’re talking about the ‘Pup,’ how about the move he made over there to get in the end zone? He’s a small guy and you don’t want to take him for granted, but he shows you some things that shows you he might be able to help you.”
The second play Barlow was referring to was a catch in the left flat from Blow at the 19. Parks, hemmed in by the Hornet defense, ducked under the arms of a would-be tackler and quickly accelerated out of the pile, turning a minimal gain into an exciting 19-yard touchdown play.
The former Prattville Christian Academy receiver, a third-year sophomore in 2014, could certainly prove to be an inspiration to some of his teammates with his enthusiastic attitude and work ethic. More than that, as Barlow hinted, he may find his way onto the field more often this fall.