Lathrup graduate, Parks, completes NCAA football career

By: Mark Vest | Southfield Sun | Published December 8, 2015

 Southfield-Lathrup graduate Colin Parks recently completed his senior season with Albion College. Parks, who played running back for the Britons, was selected first-team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association for his play this season.

Southfield-Lathrup graduate Colin Parks recently completed his senior season with Albion College. Parks, who played running back for the Britons, was selected first-team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association for his play this season.

Photo provided by Albion College athletics

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After not receiving a scholarship to play college football at one of the “big schools,” Southfield-Lathrup graduate Colin Parks said he was discouraged and questioned whether or not he would play at the next level.

But when a college he said he had never heard of came calling, Parks said he felt “wanted.”

That school was Albion College, and having recently completed his senior season as a running back for the Britons, Parks reflected on his collegiate experience.

“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “Coming here to Albion, probably one of the best decisions I made coming out of high school. Ever since I came on this campus, it was a good feeling. It worked out very well.”

While playing for Albion, which is an NCAA Division III program, wasn’t part of his original plan, the experience he had may have helped teach him a lesson that sometimes the best opportunities aren’t always obvious at first glance.

“It really taught me to have a positive outlook on things,” said Parks, who is an exercise science major. “Even though you might get discouraged, whatever your dream is, it taught me try to pursue it as best as you can.”

Parks capped off his career by rushing for 1,162 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was also an All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association first-team pick.

Parks’ time at Albion also resulted in being part of two league championships.

What he was left with were some memories that he can cherish for a long time.

“Before I left, I wanted to make sure we went out with at least a conference championship,” said Parks, who has volunteered his time as a mentor for Albion’s Smooth Transitions program, which assists students from underrepresented populations. “Our school is the top school in football since our conference started. That’s a tradition that our school holds, and that’s something that I will hold.”

Parks doesn’t want his time at Albion to be the end of his football career. Instead, he would like for the next stop on his football journey to be at the professional level.

“That would be a dream come true, being able to make a profession out of what you love doing,” Parks said. “I really wanted to try playing any professional football — whether that’s in the NFL, CFL, European football. I know I’ve been successful at pushing myself in the past.”

Whatever happens going forward, Parks has already taken time to appreciate the opportunity to both get an education and play college football.

“It was very nice,” he said. “I cherish it. I know how rare it is for some guys to have the opportunity.”

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