KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville Catholic standout Daniel Parris was one of seven athletes to put pen to paper on Wednesday. Parris decided to stay close to home and take his talents to the University of Tennessee.
“That was a big thing for me in trying to make my decision,” said Parris. “UT was always on my list because I had never wanted to go to a school that was really far away cause I kind of get homesick. UT was my first offer. It kind of opened my eyes to see this is really where I want to go. I only took two weeks and I committed right there. I wanna play in front of everyone here. I wanna play in front of my family. I don’t want to make them have to go very far, so that’s why I picked Tennessee.”
Parris plays both the infield and pitches for the Irish. Tony Vitello’s commitment to let him do both also sold him on playing for the Big Orange.
“I wanted to play both ways,” said Parris. “I wanted to go as a pitcher and a position player. They were the first school to offer me both ways. That was a big thing for me because they really put trust in me both ways. A lot of teams think I’m just a pitcher, but I think I’m both. I think I have a career where I can do both.”
Also being honored at Catholic were Sydney Clements (Tennessee Tech for soccer), Carson Gompert (Chattanooga for tennis), Gracie Pardue (Toledo for swimming), Harrison Thompson (West Virginia for golf), Maeve Thornton (Furman for tennis) and Jazmin Williams (Bluefield University for basketball).
Farragut baseball had its star player Jett Johnston sign to play in the SEC at Texas A&M.
Six other athletes also signed. Annabelle Ekern will play soccer at Bellarmine University in Kentucky. Ava Guzowski signed to play softball at Kennesaw State. Madison Neeley etched her name on the NLI to play volleyball at Roane State. Kennedy Reynolds will run at Chattanooga. Brooke Simpson will join gymnastics power LSU. Mackenzie Turner signed to play volleyball at Centre College.
At Webb, Lukas Walls is headed to Samford to play basketball.
Marvyille had a multitude of athletes sign to play at the next level. Kayla Barr is staying close to home to play soccer for the Lady Vols. Madelyn Bull will play soccer for Tennessee Wesleyan. Liv Gravatt is taking her talents to Buffalo for volleyball. Parker Miller is headed to the University of Alabama-Huntsville for track and field. Nick Talley signed to golf at Walter State. His teammate Parker Miller is heading to Carson-Newman.