Parks Voted into Hall of Fame
May 1, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - Dave Parks is finally receiving his due. The former Texas Tech All-American and top pick in the 1964 NFL draft was selected for induction to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Thursday during a televised press conference by the NFF on ESPNNEWS. He joins E.J. Holub and Donny Anderson as former Red Raiders previously enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
"Dave Parks is one of our greatest football players," Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers said. "He's been successful at all levels and was one of our early All-Americans. We're proud of the things Dave accomplished in football and we are pleased and excited he's been voted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. This is great recognition for Texas Tech and an honor well-deserved for one of our former greats."
Parks left his mark on the Red Raiders program, holding records in career receptions (80, 1962) and single-season receptions (32, 1962 and 1963). He also set marks in single-game receptions (8 vs. Kansas State, 1963), single-game receiving yards (132 vs. Kansas State, 1963). During his junior season in 1962, the Abilene, Texas, native was an All-Southwest Conference selection, was named team most valuable player and Best Tech Lineman.
During his career at Texas Tech, Parks' play never waned, no matter the circumstances - even in triple coverage during his All-American senior season, in which he played with a broken wrist. Known for his offensive talents, Parks also displayed a prowess on defense, which was evidenced by his 98-yard interception return, sealing a 13-12 win over Colorado in 1963.
Media and opposing coaches alike watched in awe as Parks dismantled opposing defenses every Saturday. Former Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports writer Jim Trinkle described a play against Texas A&M where "two Aggies were running side-by-side with the brilliant Parks, but he made a diving catch across the goal, did a somersault, and leaped up with the ball high over his head." A TCU coach scouting the game said, "That was the finest catch I've ever seen."
The first player in school history to be named an Associated Press First Team All-American, Parks joined the likes of Roger Staubach, Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers on the prestigious All-America squad following his senior season in 1963. He also raked in consensus honors as a split end by The Sporting News, Boston Recorder-American, Sports Extra, American Football Coaches, Time Magazine and Football Weekly.
The honors continued to pour in as Parks was rewarded for his play during his senior season with invitations to the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl, the Coaches All-America Game, and was named to the Chicago Tribune's All-Stars. Playing for the West in the Shrine Game, Parks blocked the game-winning extra point attempt by the East. In the Senior Bowl, he hauled in a George Mira touchdown pass to preserve the South's 20-12 victory.
Park's NFL career spanned 10 years with San Francisco (1964-67), New Orleans (1968-72) and Houston (1973). He was named to the All-Pro Rookie Team in 1964 and was an All-Pro selection in 1965 and 1966, playing in three-straight Pro Bowls.
In addition to Parks, among the 13 players in this year's class include Troy Aikman (UCLA, 1987-88), Billy Cannon (LSU, 1957-59), Jim Dombrowski (Virginia, 1982-85), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern, 1994-96), Wilber Marshall (Florida, 1980-83), Rueben Mayes (Washington State, 1982-85), Randall McDaniel (Arizona State, 1984-87), Don McPherson (Syracuse, 1984-87), Jay Novacek (Wyoming, 1982-84), Ron Simmons (Florida State, 1977-80), Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State, 1984-87) and Arnold Tucker (Army, 1944-46). John Cooper (Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State) and Lou Holtz (William & Mary, N.C. State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina) are the two coaches in the class. The FBS Hall of Fame Class will be formally inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 9 in New York City at the Waldorf Astoria. The inductees will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during the summer of 2009.
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been All-America first team status by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least ten years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football.
Over 12,000 National Football Foundation members and current Hall of Famers' votes were tabulated and submitted to the NFF's Honors Court, which selects the class. Of the 4.6 million individuals that have played college football, only 842 players have earned induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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