As we continue our march to kickoff, we take a look at the top 100 recruits to sign with Auburn of all-time*. The rankings are based on 247’s composite recruit rankings, which unfortunately only date back to 2000.
“What an athlete Parks is. He spent his junior season at QB because of his athleticism, but he will move back to tight end on the next level. He will be a threat to get down the field and he is also a guy that could flex out. He has the size and speed to create mismatches. He will need to work on his blocking, getting off jams, and route running when he settles back in at tight end. He has a very high ceiling.” - Chad Simmons, 247 Sports
Ricky Parks committed to Auburn in the 2012 class, and was the second highest rated player in Auburn’s signing class that year. In high school, he was one of those rare athletes that could dominate at any position. He was being looked at as both a linebacker and tight end by colleges, but switched to playing quarterback his senior year. While he was a little raw, coaches across the country were lining up to take a chance on the kid from Hogansville, Georgia.
Due to the rawness of Parks’s talent and the depth at the position in 2012 (the team had a senior season Lutzie and second year guys in CJ Uzomah and Brandon Fulse), Parks redshirted in 2012. However, when the team started fall camp in 2013, Parks was nowhere to be found. Gus would later tell reporters that Parks was dismissed for violation of team rules, which we found out later from Parks was due to his arrest after an alleged theft from Walmart.
Former tight end Ricky Parks was arrested in July 2013 for stealing a trash can, a candle, and a mattress cover from Wal-Mart, but Parks said he just forgot the items at the bottom of a shopping cart when he checked out. The charge would later be dropped.
Perhaps this really wasn’t as big a deal as it was made out to be, but Gus wasn’t going to put up with any of the problems that plagued the Chizik years. Parks played the 2013 season Northern Mississippi CC.
Right after the season, though, Ricky Parks was working his way back into the coaches good graces, and attempted to walk on the team again.
Ready to get back on the grind to help these boys win a championship. #returnofRickyP WAR DAMN!— Ricky Parks (@RickyParks46) January 10, 2014
I can’t find many sources on the matter, but it appears Parks was dismissed again before the 2014 season. He would play that season at Coffeyville CC in Kansas as a defensive end. Back on the recruiting market after a successful campaign, Parks landed at Southern Miss. Though he was recruited as a defensive lineman, he moved back to tight end for the Golden Eagles in 2015. He caught five balls for 88 yards in that season, though he did not return for his fifth and final year in 2016.
There is some debate about his actual existence in certain corners of the Auburn internet, however. The general consensus is that tight ends don’t actually exist, and story of Ricky Parks certainly helps support that thought.