That’s why he chose to sign a football scholarship with Reinhardt University, a new program that went 6-4 in its first year last season and made the playoffs for the national playoffs.
Parker, a three-year starter at defensive end at Cass, also played football at the Woodland and Cass middle schools and during his freshman year for the Colonels.
His senior year he recorded 15 sacks and 49 tackles, 27 of which were for a loss. He was named second team all-region that same senior year. His junior year he was all-region honorable mention.
Parker, who was a linebacker and running back the early part of his career, started playing defensive end his freshman year at Cass.
“My coaches thought I’d be pretty fast coming off the line,” he recalled.
That assessment proved correct and he developed quickly, becoming a starter for the Colonels as a sophomore.
He eventually piqued the interest of Reinhardt head coach Danny Cronic and his staff.
“I feel like they got interested in me because of my explosiveness,” Parker said. “I’m going after the ball 100 percent.”
Parker said he liked the Eagles because of their fast start in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and for making an impact at the national level.
“They are an up-and-coming new program,” he said. “They went 6-4 and won their conference.
“I believe we’ll be national champions this year.”
He wasn’t sure what his contribution will be, however.
“A lot of the older guys I’ll be looking up to,” he said.
He liked other things about the school.
“I feel like I’m at home when I am there, and I love the campus,” he said. “The student body was great. I felt like I belong there.”
The Cass player said he will be pursuing a career in the criminal justice system.
Parker said he also likes Reinhardt’s proximity to Cartersville.
“It’s close so my parents and my daughter can see me play,” he said. “It’s about a 45-minute drive.”
Also important, he said, is the fact he can attend the college and continue playing football.
“I’ve been playing football ever since I’ve been able to walk,” he said. “It’s something I love to do. College football, no matter what level it is, it’s a blessing.”
Rick Casko, former Cass head coach, said Parker has a lot to offer a program like Reinhardt.
“Montavius is a tremendously talented young man,” he said. “He’s extremely strong. He works hard in the weight room. He had over a 350 bench and a 550 squat.”
Casko said Parker also has a lot of speed.
“Montavius has run a 4.5 before,” he said. “He’s a very gifted athlete and a tremendous wrestler. He’s a very tough kid. His opportunities are in front of him. There are a lot of things he could achieve.
“If he puts his mind to it and gets committed, I think he could be a heck of a player for Reinhardt.”
Casko also believes Reinhardt has a lot to offer Parker.
“They have a beautiful facility,” he said. “They lost to Cumberland, Ky., which played in the national championship game [last year]. They were actually ahead of them in the fourth quarter and were highly competitive and had a chance to win the game late. That’s good for a first-year program. I was very impressed.
“They did a very nice job and they are committed to athletics there. They have a beautiful stadium, a turf field and a nice atmosphere to play in. When I went, the energy was there. It’s really impressive seeing them in the first year of the program. Like I say, it’s a good program and a very young team.”