Photo via 247 Sports
Leonard Parks, a senior at Texas High School, died from a heart attack while sleeping Saturday night Head Coach Gerry Stanford said to the Dallas Morning News.
SMU Rivals’ Nikki Chavanelle was the first to report the death. Stanford stated the cause of death is not immediately clear.
Southern Methodist University released a statement on Twitter in support of the Parks family:
Our hearts go out to Leonard Parks' family, friends, Coach Stanford, Texas High and the whole Texarkana community.
— SMU FootbaII (@SMU_Football) September 3, 2017
Parks, a 6-foot-5 and 320-pound defensive end, was a 3-star athlete that committed to SMU on July 29. He was one of only four defensive linemen to record sub-5.0 times in a recent East Texas Sports Network 40-yard dash.
According to ETSN, he also put up 12 bench press reps of 225 pounds and recorded a 34-inch vertical leap. It was good enough for fourth-best among the event’s 87 participants.
Texas High finished the 2016 regular season 10-0 before falling in the bi-district round of the UIL 5A Division I playoffs. With Parks as a focal part of its scheme, the Tigers’ defense limited opponents to 13.2 points per game.
Parks committed to SMU despite offers from Arkansas Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Missouri State, Northeastern State and Southern Illinois.
Texas HS Football will update the story as it develops.