Monday, December 6, 2021

Former 4-star prospect Steven Parker leaves KU football via transfer portal

Kansas outside linebacker Steven Parker rushes toward Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer in Waco, Texas, on Sept. 26, 2020.

Kansas outside linebacker Steven Parker rushes toward Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer in Waco, Texas, on Sept. 26, 2020.


The top-rated signee in the Kansas football program’s 2019 recruiting class, defensive end Steven Parker is entering the transfer portal after three seasons at KU, according to Monday reports from Rivals and 247 Sports.

A 6-foot-4, 240-pound edge rusher from Dallas, Parker played exclusively as a reserve this past season, appearing in all 12 games for the Jayhawks.

A few weeks into the 2021 season, KU defensive coordinator Brian Broland said Parker, who was a four-star standout in high school, got off to a slow start this year in a new system, in part because Parker had to miss 10 preseason practices before he was cleared to participate.

Parker’s redshirt sophomore season never took off, and it concluded with him totaling 11 tackles and one tackle for loss.

In 2020, while playing for a different coaching staff, Parker started twice, played in all nine of KU’s games and totaled 27 tackles and three tackles for loss. Parker was recruited to KU from South Oak Cliff High (Texas) by KU’s receivers coach Emmett Jones.

The most hyped recruit from KU’s 2019 signing class, Parker became the first KU player to enter the transfer portal since Leipold’s first season with the Jayhawks concluded on Nov. 27.

Since the start of preseason camp, KU has now seen four players exit via the portal. Walk-on receiver Jordan Brown entered the portal in November. Former starting running back Velton Gardner left the program three games into the season. Offensive lineman Garrett Jones opted to leave the team in late August, before the season began.

With Parker moving on and KU’s best defensive end in 2021, Kyron Johnson, done with his career, the Jayhawks still have options on the roster at D-end for next season. Jereme Robinson, a 6-3, 260-pound sophomore in 2021, played in nine games, started one and finished with 14 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The team also decided to have senior Hayden Hatcher redshirt this year, putting him in position to contribute in 2022.

Plus, freshmen defensive linemen D’Marion Alexander and Tommy Dunn Jr. didn’t play in any games this year, and freshman DJ Withers only appeared in one, so each can enter next season as a redshirt freshman.

What’s more, the coaching staff could potentially use the portal to bring in a D-end who could play next year and beyond.


Michael Maris 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Steven Parker, I hate to see you leave the Leipold program....

But, you have to do what's best for your own Collegiate Career....

Reading this story, the depth chart is being created by the names of returning active and red-shirt roster players.

Truly looking forward to 2022 Jayhawks Football season... And, the improvements that will happen between 2021 to 2022.

Good luck Steven Parker......

Robert Brock 8 months, 2 weeks ago

UT-Arlington, perhaps? He might be a starter for the Mavericks.

Curtis Blankenship 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Every time someone leaves a school, they should report on if they are going to continue the same major, how many hours will transfer, and if they will need to retake a bunch of classes. Cuz, most aren't going pro.

Brett McCabe 8 months, 2 weeks ago

New coach, new staff, 2-10 record, I think that the lack of transfers out of the program is a good sign. Guys seem bought in. Would like to hear some good news on the recruiting front, though.

Layne Pierce 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Perhaps Parker just did not like or seem comfortable in the new defensive scheme. Before he would have been more of an outside linebacker, than a defensive end.

But hey, the portal taketh away and the portal giveth.


Dirk Medema 8 months, 2 weeks ago

There were high hopes for SP when he arrived, but it didn’t seem to be working out for whatever reason. Hope things go better for him in the future.

I think we are still a net positive in the transfer realm since Coach arrived. We definitely need to start reeling in the next class; transfers and HS.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 2 weeks ago

While revealing a player’s academic performance would be a privacy concern, it would be nice to know if penalties were called on the play being photographed.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 2 weeks ago

Brett - Guessing that losing Jones isn’t a positive on the recruiting front, though he and the others leaving could explain the recruiting crickets. It could be really interesting seeing what players can be pulled together this year. The first class for a new coach tends to be a mulligan and maybe applies this time even if they’ve been here for a half year.

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