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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2027 DT Brayden Parks Recaps First Notre Dame Visit

April 17, 2024

2027 Brother Rice (Ill.) defensive lineman Brayden Parks‍ got his first look at Notre Dame on Wednesday morning. 

The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder took in Notre Dame’s practice and the intensity left a lasting impression. 

“I like how the practice went,” said Parks. “It was detailed, competitive and I liked the energy they brought. Coach Freeman is a very intelligent guy and brings the energy.” 

Parks has taken a few spring visits to Illinois, Michigan State and Missouri over the last few weeks and that energy Freeman brought to practice really stood out. 

“I felt at Notre Dame, the energy level was different,” stated Parks. “The players got hyped over making just one play or little detail.” 

During practice, Parks was dialed into the Irish defensive line, which allowed him to get a good feel for Al Washington’s coaching style. 

“He worked on the fundamentals,” explained Parks. “Hands, footwork and change of direction. I liked how he coaches. You know he’s there, but he’s also relaxed.” 

Following practice, Parks had the opportunity to chop it up with Freeman and was able not only to start to build a rapport with the head coach, but feel him out as a person.

“HIs personality is very chill and relaxed,” Parks said of his conversation with Freeman. “He can be intense sometimes, but the first time meeting him, he was chill. He said I was going to be a special player and to keep working and to stay in the books.” 

Bowling Green was the first program to offer the Brother Rice standout, but following his trip to Missouri, the Tigers showed significant interest. 

The early attention isn’t something overwhelming for Parks as he knew his recruitment would pick up following his freshman year. 

“I think I’m very blessed to have it happen to me this early as a freshman,” Parks stated. “All the hard work I’ve put in showed last season. I have more hard work coming.” 

Parks also has the ability to pick up the phone and seek advice. His mother is first cousins with the father of former Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. and future NFL Draft pick Johnny Newton runs in the same circles as the Jones family. 

“It’s a blessing,” said Parks. “To have sources right next to me a call away. I’ve known Tony since I was born. He’s been in the NFL and played at Notre Dame. He’s really just one call away for me.” 

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