Photo courtesy of Flash N Dash Photography
The Ralphie Report had the opportunity to sit down with current verbal commit and future Colorado Buffalo Mitch Parsons for a quick conversation. The 6'5, 230 lb. tight end from Parker, Colorado talks about his excitement in being a Buffalo, how he hopes to help shape the 2013 recruiting class and what NFL player he hopes to model his game after.
Make sure and give Mitch a follow on twitter.
I had an issue with the recording on the first question that cut off the beginning of Mitch's response. He discussed hearing from Colorado, Michigan and Oklahoma among many others and was discussing his trip to Scottsdale when the transcript begins.
We'll start off with a long one, walk us through the recruiting process before you commited. Who were you hearing from the most and what other schools were you considering? How does it feel to have interest from so many schools across the country?
... I really wasn't paying attention much to the ASU part. I really didn't get into it too much, too hot for me. I don't know. So I committed [to Colorado] when I got back. I landed, went to lunch with my parents, talked it over with them and then called coach Bienemy.
As far as what's like to be getting attention from all the national schools... it was very exciting, I do kind of get some, I get a lot of mail. I actually just opened up my mailbox and I had ASU, Florida, Oklahoma, umm... I actually got nominated for an All-American game today.
Oh congrats, which game was it?
The Army one. In Texas, San Antonio.
That's great news, congratulations.
Thank you. I'm hoping to get chosen. I'm one of 400, so that's a lot, but it's not 400 tight ends. Yea, I'm excited that [recruiting's] over so I don't have to deal with the stress. I'm just happy to be a Buff, I'm excited.
What finally made you give your commitment to Eric Bienemy and the Buffs? Was there just one moment where you knew or was it just kind of a slow build?
Probably two weeks before that I just had a gut feeling. I went up to the junior day and I came down and the family feeling up there, the family feeling is unlike anywhere else. I visited Nebraska, I visited ASU and I really didn't want to go far. As far as I would go west is Stanford, which granted is as far as you can go, but that would have been the only school that I, I mean I've heard the other schools out there are nice, but I've always rooted for Stanford, or I did at least. I wouldn't have wanted to go any farther than probably Oklahoma. I basically had an offer from BYU and Virginia. BYU said I was unanimously voted for an offer but they had a policy where I had to be on campus and Virginia was too far.
I just had a gut feeling and all the coaches that had gone through there and all the coaches that had come back... when I went to ASU I just didn't get that feeling. Colorado is beautiful, with the mountains and everything's green and we have all four seasons. There's not many places better in the United States to play football than Colorado and I realized that when I went to Arizona. Colorado was only taking one tight end and I wanted that to be me.
Much more after the jump...
Very nice, well you know you can't root for Stanford anymore then?
Oh, I know. I actually... actually my mom has loaded me up on CU gear. Growing up I actually rooted against CU. Just cause my mom is an alumni and I lived in Arizona so I was an ASU fan. I had to take down the ASU jersey I had in my room, I had to basically... my grandpa bought me a brand new ASU hat when I was out there and I couldn't wear that. I dont have much Stanford gear, because my grandma and grandfather live out in California but they're USC fans so I have some USC gear. But now it's just CU. I've been trying to recruit some of the bigger names and recruit em out here, to come visit out here.
Perfect. Did Jon Embree's history as a tight end and his playing time as a tight end help influence your commitment at all?
Oh yea. Going into recruiting I had 3 goals. I wanted to go to the team that has tradition which CU has. I wanted a team that has tradition... a team that would... my goal is to win a John Mackey Award, which should be the goal of every tight end, but I want to be the best. I wanna compete for a national championship... I wanna win a Pac-12 championship and I want go to the NFL. Right now we're not a power like we should be with the whole wins and losses, but with that last recruiting class that we got, well I think we have a chance in the next couple of years to compete for a Pac-12 championship.
Him being a tight end definitely helped me decide because that helps with the NFL and that helps with the John Mackey. When we talked he welcomed me to the CU tight end alumni... and he actually said, cause I wear 80 in high school and he said "what number do you want do you want to be?" and I'm like, "I want to wear 80". I didn't know that he wore it, maybe I kind of did because I saw the highlight video that they show up there, but he said, "I'll let you wear it". So I'll be 80 up at CU.
That sounds like Embree. We're excited to see you wear 80 in college. So how did he and Eric Bienemy say that you would fit into the offense going forward? Do you have an idea of what your role is going to be?
They like my hands and they like... well, a lot of the scouts, like the Rivals and stuff say I don't have speed, but they say I can stretch the field, which I believe I can. I'm sneaky fast I guess. Might not show it on my tape, but I get open. They plan on using me as far as I know, but they have three tight ends that get there next year so we'll all be fighting for playing time, but I'm hoping to. They said that I should be able to get some playing time. I'll be in the fight for time. But I guess I'm more of a pass catcher. They like the way I run my routes, they like the way I stretch the field and use my hands to catch the ball. I don't use my body, I use my hands. I don't know if that answers your question?
That's great and that was actually another questions that I had, so you're more of a pass-catching type tight end. How is your blocking and is that something that you feel strongly about or is it something that you feel you need to improve throughout your senior season?
I feel strong about it as of late. I played my last season at 220 and then I got up to about 225 at the end of the season. Then I played basketball and lost, I got back down to 215. But I'm actually up to about 230 right now so that should help me with my blocking. I've never played tight end before, that was my first year ever playing tight end. I played receiver freshman year, and all growing up I played quarterback and running back and receiver and safety and all that. I never played tight end. Then I broke my ankle sophomore year, first game of the year so I had, I guess, one summer and one game of tight end and I had never really learned how to block. But last year I was just taking in. I have one of the best coaches in the entire state, probably the best coach in the state when it comes to offensive line. So that's going to be my main focus. I don't want coaches to be able go, "oh Parsons is in, put in the nickelback," I wanna be a well-rounded tight end. I want to be able to contribute at all aspects of the game.
That's a great way to look at it, actually. Do you have an idea yet when you are going to take your official visit to Colorado?
I don't have an idea when, but I have an idea of the gist of it. Coach Jones, well he's head of recruiting, gave me a list of guys to talk to and I've been talking to all these guys and messaging em and basically being a recruiter. Me and Sefo and Phil, and now one other kid just committed, we're kind of the cornerstones or the building blocks of this recruiting class so... I've been just trying recruit kids, trying to get em out here. Cause once you come out here you won't want to leave. There's no place like Boulder. So they told me that they'll probably bring me on my official after the season and they're gonna bring their biggest recruits all in one weekend and they'll meet me up with them so I can be with them for the whole 48 hours or whatever it is that we're allowed to be on campus.
Well that's great, that was another one of my questions, asking about you talking to Phillip and Sefo. So that's good to hear that they've got you guys working to bring more kids into Boulder. You were named All-Colorado in your first ever season playing tight end, so what do you expect for yourself and Chaparral this year?
Big things. I work hard to make sure not one guy can take me down. I pride myself on being bigger and stronger than most kids. I don't know if you've watched my tape, there's a couple of plays where there's kids bouncing off me and stuff. I like that part of my game probably most... I want to be All-Colorado again, I want to be all-state again, I want to be all-league again. I set the bar high for myself and I want to be the best. As far as the team, if we can figure out the offensive line we'll be a threat. We're returning our quarterback, all of our tight ends, all of our receivers, our entire defensive line and linebacking core, but we have to replace our defensive backs . So I expect a deep run, if not a championship. That's what I'm hoping for.
Are you playing basketball again this season or are you going to focus 100% on football?
I'm gonna play basketball. We won a state championship this year at Chaparral. We're returning me, I was like the sixth man, I'm basically a defensive player, I'm a football player in a basketball uniform. I can score a little bit but I'm more of a rebounder. I was the sixth man off the bench. We're returning me and another big guy and a guard. So I'm expecting us to be able to repeat. I mean, I'm a competitive person if you can't tell. I wanna win. I want another state championship. At least another one, if not two.
Well, you mentioned that you, and we're going to forgive you for this, but you mentioned that you rooted against the Buffaloes when you were growing up. But when you were watching with your mom were there any Buffaloes that you liked to watch play when you were growing up?
I honestly couldn't tell you. I didn't really pay attention, I do now that I'm involved in it, but I didn't really pay attention to the players. I mean, I could tell you Jake Plummer, Terrell Suggs, Zach Miller and Pat Tillman from ASU but they're all spread out throughout ten years. So, I don't really know many players in general. I don't really remember any CU players, no.
Not a problem, is there an NFL tight end that you like to watch play and hope to emulate their game?
I've always rooted for the Cowboys so I like Jason Witten and I think we're similar, I think he's 6'3, 6'4, but I think we're similar sizes. He's a better blocker than me but I hope to get better at blocking. He's a blocking tight end. I like to think of myself as a Jason Witten or a Zach Miller or someone like that who's a good pass catcher, a good well-rounded tight end.
I think Buffaloes fans and Jon Embree would love it if you came out and emulated Jason Witten, he's a great, great tight end. You didn't grow up in Colorado, you grew up in Arizona for part of the time, so a few years ago coming to Colorado you'd be playing against schools in Texas and Oklahoma, but now, with Colorado in the Pac-12 you get to go back to Arizona and you get to go to classic stadiums like the Rose Bowl and Autzen. Are you excited to get to go and play in all those stadiums across the Pac-12 and then having those teams come into Boulder and Folsom?
Oh yea, I'm very, very excited because I'm... like I said my grandpa is a USC alum, my grandma is a USC alum , they go to almost every home game and my grandpa goes to almost every away game so it'll be fun. I'm excited to beat USC in the Coliseum and be able to call my grandpa the next day and be like "hey grandpa, did you watch the game last night". I'm especially excited to be able to play in the Coliseum and I'm excited to play in Arizona because I grew up there, my friends are there and a lot of them will probably go to ASU. It will be nice to whoop up on the Sun Devils and it'll be fun to play there. Grandparents and cousins and stuff all live there. There's not many places like California or Washington, the west coast is always so nice, especially during football season, so yeah I'm excited. I'm real excited.
Good, good. Well that's everything that I had for ya. I appreciate you getting on the phone and we're really excited that you're going to be a Buff.
Well, thank you. I'm excited, Buff Nation is crazy. There's some crazy people out there and I love it. I 'm just excited, if you can't tell. I could ramble and talk for hours.
Playing in front of friends and family, you only get to grow up once and so when you have the opportunity to play in a place like Folsom...
Well we wish you the best of luck in your senior season and we'll be following your success over at the Ralphie Report and we'll plan to check in with you after the season.