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12 DAYS TO 2018 KICKOFF: AJ Parker

In which BracketCat counts down the 12th day until the 2018 kickoff with a profile of defensive back AJ Parker.

#12 AJ Taylor
AJ Taylor (12) had a great freshman season as a part-time starter at both cornerback and nickelback due to injuries, which gives me hope that he can step up full-time to fill the void left by D.J. Reed’s departure.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Goal No. 12: NO SELF-LIMITATIONS. Expect more of yourself.

#12 AJ Parker

Redshirt Sophomore | 5-11 | 178 lbs. | Bartlesville, Oklahoma
AJ Parker
AJ Parker
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Arlando Dwayne Parker Jr. (b. Feb. 15, 1998) is a young defensive back who saw significant playing time on defense and special teams as a redshirt freshman. He will compete for and probably is a favorite to win a starting secondary spot in 2018.

A promising young defensive back from Oklahoma, Parker redshirted in 2016. He saw playing time in 11 games in 2017, with two starts at cornerback and two starts at nickelback.

Parker registered 24 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and three pass breakups last year. He carded a season-high eight tackles against TCU, had five plus a tackle for loss in K-State’s win at No. 10 Oklahoma State, and batted away a season-best two passes against Charlotte.

Parker was a three-year starter at cornerback and wide receiver for head coach John McKee and Bartlesville High School.

He was named to the USA Today Sports/American Family Insurance All-USA Oklahoma Team as a defensive back following his senior year, in addition to earning All-State honors from The Oklahoman, The Tulsa World and the Oklahoma Coaches Association (OCA).

Parker also had honorable mention All-State accolades as a junior in 2014.

He helped to lead the Bruins to a 10-2 record and a trip to the semifinals of the Oklahoma Class 6A-II state playoffs in 2015, and also hauled in 65 passes for 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns between his junior and senior seasons.

Parker, who was selected to play in the OCA All-State football game, also was a three-year starter in basketball, earning all-area honors, and participated in track and field, placing third in the state meet in the high jump as a sophomore and junior.