View Full Version : Lack of interest frustrates Port St. Joe's Palmer

01-18-2006, 10:08 AM
The recruiting process can be difficult to understand at times. This is one of those times for Port St. Joe coach John Palmer.

Senior Ash Parker, who helped lead the Sharks to the Class 1A state title in December and Palmer calls "the best receiver I have ever coached in my 17 years," has attracted only minimal recruiting interest.

Parker has yet to receiver a scholarship offer, though schools that continue to remain in contact include Troy University, Florida A&M, Arkansas State and Bethune-Cookman College. Palmer said Valdosta State and East Carolina also showed early interest.

Parker, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, had 762 rushing yards, 329 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns for the Sharks last season. He is academically qualified with a 3.5 grade-point average.

"I really don't understand it," Palmer said.

"His footwork and coach-ability make him a major asset. He's a great student, a great young man. Here's a player who I know can help a team somewhere if given the opportunity."

Parker was named Monday to the FSWA Class 1A All-State first-team offense. He also was a first-team All-Big Bend selection and a first-team selection by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association.

Palmer believes collegiate coaches might be questioning Parker's speed. However, Palmer says Parker has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.5 to 4.6 seconds.

"I don't know how fast you have to be," Palmer said. "Maybe they (collegiate coaches) think he's a tweener in everything. I don't understand it."

Port St. Joe beat Fort Meade 38-31 to win the Class A state title.