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West Memphis (Arkansas) defensive lineman Marquaze Parker gives pledge to Cincinnati

Parker owns eight Division I offers

By Kyle Sutherland | Photo by Tommy Land 

Unless you are a night owl you probably missed it, but the University of Cincinnati got some great news on Wednesday with the addition of West Memphis defensive lineman Marquaze Parker to the 2024 class.

Parker, 6-3, 260, is a three-star prospect and the 13th-ranked overall player in Arkansas per 247Sports. He holds additional Division I offers from Arkansas State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Central Arkansas, Memphis, Southeast Missouri State, UNLV, and Tennessee-Martin. 

Cincinnati offered Parker in June after he had what was reported as a 'dominant' camp. He had been in contact with defensive line coach Walter Stewart, who told Parker that if he is able to make the camp and displayed the things that showed up on film that it could result in an offer.

"Coach Stewart and I had been texting for about two weeks," Parker said. "He said that they liked me, I fit their system, and he wanted me up there. 

"He gave me a tour of the place and how nice it is. The day after, I dominated the camp and got the offer." 

The Bearcats have been one of the more successful Group of Five programs in the country as of recent, boasting 53 wins over the past five seasons and became the first non-Power 5 team to make the College Football Playoff in 2021. However, they are now a Power 5 program after joining the Big 12 for the upcoming season. 

"I knew that I was going to go Power 5 because I believed in myself and knew that I was built for it," Parker said. "I knew it was coming, I just was not sure which school.

"They believed in me and were on me from day one."

That half-decade of success was all under the direction of Luke Fickell, who left to take the Wisconsin job in November. Scott Satterfield is the new man in charge for the Bearcats after serving in the same position at Louisville for the past four seasons. 

One of the things that stuck out to Parker was that he and Satterfield have kept in constant contact, which is always a clear sign that you are wanted when the head coach is that persistent.

"We are real cool, he is always checking on me and we do not always talk football," Parker said. "We talk about real life stuff, normal things. Everything has got to be about football with the coaches, but with him we talk about something else."

West Memphis head coach Robert Hooks mentioned that a handful of his current roster possesses college offers and Parker's commitment to a reputable program should increase the hunger for success amongst the team. 

"To have an athlete get an offer from that caliber of school is great and I am so proud of the work Marquaze has put in to get that," Hooks said. "I think this will help motivate a lot of our younger players, as well as his classmates."

Parker has proven to be one of Arkansas' top defensive lineman, but Hooks feels that he is far from reaching his full potential. Parker played last season at around 240, but has put on more muscle and is now a between 260-265.

"He weighed in at 265 at the camp, but he had a good night of eating the night before," Hooks said. "His motor alone causes a lot of havoc on offenses. 

"If we can just get him to settle down and play heel line more then he will be unbelievable."