Beaufort High standout linebacker Justin Parker was selected Thursday to play in the prestigious Shrine Bowl. He is the fourth Eagle to be tapped for the South Carolina roster in three years, following in the footsteps of Devin Taylor, Brandon Mattis and Jimmy Legree.
But the day also saw Parker reach uncharted territory, as he became the first Beaufort High player named to the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, a high school all-star game featuring 88 of the nation's top senior football players in an East-West format.
"I'm really excited," Parker said. "It's sometimes hard to believe because coming into high school, I never thought I'd be the football player that I've become, so I thank God for putting me in this position."
Considered by most to be the state's top senior linebacker prospect, Parker has lived up to the hype this season, recording 99 tackles, including nine for loss, five sacks, one interception and a blocked kick for the 7-2 Eagles.
The 73rd annual Shrine Bowl, which pits the top South Carolina players against the best crop from North Carolina, will take place Dec. 19 at Wofford College's Gibbs Stadium at 1 p.m.
The annual All-American Bowl, which began in 2007, will be played Jan. 2 at Coastal Carolina's Brooks Stadium.