There have been many legends that have gone through the Texas Tech football program, but few have been as influential as the former Red Raider standout, Dave Parks.
While at Texas Tech, Parks was the first player in school history to be named an All-American. Upon his graduation, he held school records for most career receptions (80), most single-season receptions (32), most in-game receptions (8), and most receiving yards in a game (132). Dave Parks was an ambassador for the modern-day passing game and due to his performance at Texas Tech, he was a highly sought-after prospect for the 1964 NFL Draft.
To this day, he is still the only Texas Tech Football player to ever be drafted first overall, which he did in the 1964 NFL Draft. While in the NFL, he played 10 seasons for three franchises (San Francisco, New Orleans, and Houston). He finished his career with 360 receptions and 5619 yards. He was even named to an All-Pro team in his second season, leading the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
After his career, he was regarded as one of the best college football players of his era. In 2008, he was named to the College Football Hall of Fame, and in 2012 he was named to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Parks is also one of only six players to have his number retired at Texas Tech as he joined the Texas Tech Ring of Honor in 2012. In West Texas, Dave Parks and the number 81 will remain connected for the impact that he had as a Red Raider as well as the community of Lubbock as a whole. Parks passed in 2019. He will forever be remembered as one of the first legendary Red Raiders.
Be sure to check out Guns Up Nation on Twitter (@gunsupnation), Facebook, and Instagram (@gunsupnation) for more Texas Tech Content every day!