QB Parker McLeod reflects on pledge

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. -- As Walton High School quarterback Parker McLeod took the field on Tuesday night for the Raiders’ first scrimmage against Hillgrove, he was a marked man. He was recognized by both the fans and the players of the opposing team.

That’s what happens when you commit to the University of Alabama. McLeod, who committed to the Crimson Tide in June, has seen his life change since making the decision.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I kind of feel like a rock star. People recognize me now that I’m committed to Alabama. It’s a lot less stress, and pressure off me. It obviously lifted a big burden off my shoulders with the recruiting process. I’m just glad to have that over with, and I’m looking forward to the season.

“The [fans] hit me on Facebook after I committed, a lot of messages and friend requests and stuff. They were really excited to have me. It’s good to have such a strong base at Alabama.”

With his commitment behind him, McLeod has been able to focus on improving his game and preparing for his senior season at Walton. In July, the 6-foot-3, 183-pound signal caller attended Alabama’s second camp and worked with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

“He really tried to do some more specific stuff that he wanted to fix after he saw my film from the first camp,” McLeod said. “He wanted to work on some of the mechanics and the footwork. It was good to work with him. I really like his teaching style. He’s not too in your face, and he’s not too laid back. He’s got a good style.”

McLeod is one of two quarterbacks committed to Alabama in the 2013 recruiting class, but the three-star signal caller has been somewhat overshadowed by the Tide’s other commitment, ESPN 150 quarterback Cooper Bateman.

Despite what everybody else is saying, the UA coaching staff has promised McLeod the same chance to come in and compete for the job.

“They have promised me the opportunity to compete, and that’s all I can ask for,” he said. “Frankly, I feel like I can compete with anybody, and I can compete with [Bateman] certainly. I’m not really shying away from competition. I’m just looking forward to getting in there and getting to work.”

McLeod opens the high school season in the Georgia Dome against Brookwood as part of the Corky Kell Classic on August 25.