Rob Park led Memphis (Tenn.) University School (MUS) to the Division II-AAA Tennessee state title in the 2004 Clinic Bowl. As both a quarterback and a punter, Park now has some decisions to make.
Alabama has been in heavy contact with Park, seeing him as a potential replacement for departing senior punter Bo Freeland. Crimson Tide special teams coordinator Dave Ungerer stopped by MUS to talk to Park a week after his state championship win. Should Park end up with the Tide, he would be expected to compete against returning junior Jeremy Schatz, who has backed up Freeland in 2004.
Auburn has also spoken to Park about punting for them, though punting for the Tigers would be more of an uphill climb than at Alabama. The two punters currently on Auburn’s roster are both underclassmen. The starter, fellow Tennessean Kody Bliss, is only a sophomore, and has averaged 40.8 yards per punt.
While the call could be tough between the two Alabama powerhouses, Park may have an even more arduous decision on his hands. N.C. State has recruited Park as a quarterback, and may be his best option if he decides he wants to continue his passing career. He also has been contacted by a number of other southeastern schools, including Ole Miss. The Rebels could become a notable player in his recruitment because they have already landed the commitment of Park’s favorite high school target, MUS wide receiver J.D. Lawhorn.
Park has set up three official visits: to N.C. State on Dec. 11, Auburn on Jan. 14 and Alabama on Jan. 21.
With his college decision looming on the horizon, Park can look to a number of recent accolades as a distraction from recruiting. He has been selected to play in the Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game on December 11. He was also a Super-7 coaches’ all-state pick at both quarterback and punter, named the offensive MVP for his season as a passer.