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Utah football gets commitment from another elite Florida running back

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Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald is reportedly being considered for the same job at USC.

Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald and running back Jordan Wilmore, right, look on during fall camp on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Courtesy Utah Athletics

SALT LAKE CITY — Another top-tier running back is headed Utah’s way from Florida.

Running back Ricky Parks, a three-star athlete from Tampa who narrowed his potential college football teams to Utah, Iowa, Florida State, Pitt and West Virginia a few months ago, announced his decision to play for the Utes via Twitter on Sunday.

“First off I would like to thank God for blessing me and putting me in this position,” Parks wrote. “I would like to thank my family for supporting me throughout this process. Thank you to all the coaches who believed and saw something in me. I would like to thank my cousin for training me and helping me develop my craft. Thank you to everyone who was with me throughout this process. With that being said, I will be furthering my education and developing my talent at ... The University of Utah.”

The final choice came between the Utes and Iowa, according to 247sports.com. Parks also told that website that Utah running back coach Kiel McDonald regularly checked in with him and let him know “how much they want me and shows a lot of love.”

Sports Illustrated recently compared Parks to another Florida prep product who ran for the Utes: Utah’s all-time leading rusher and Buffalo Bills draftee, Zack Moss.

“If fans want a running back who looks like former stars Zack Moss, Joe Williams and Devontae Booker, they won’t have to look much further than Parks,” a Sports Illustrated article claimed. “This guy is an absolute tank of a running back who is going to lower his shoulder and deliver the boom. He needs to work on his hands out of the backfield and his pass-protection skills, but he has the physical traits to be successful.”

The 5-10, 192-pound Parks rushed for 1,251 yards and 14 touchdowns his junior season at Jesuit High. He’s since transferred to Gaither High, also in Tampa, and plans no graduating early and enrolling in college in January.

Utah signed just one running back to its 2020 class — Ty Jordan. So with Moss heading to the NFL and Devonta’e Henry-Cole having transferred to BYU, the Utes will rely on junior Devin Brumfield and sophomore Jordan Wilmore to carry the ball.