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Parler family steeped in college sports tradition

Donovan Parlor competes at the GameFit Sacramento Combine on Oct. 24, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Donovan Parlor competes at the GameFit Sacramento Combine on Oct. 24, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

College sports run in Folsom sophomore running back Donovan Parler’s blood.

Parler’s family has reached the pinnacle of college sports multiple times. His cousin, Jordan Brown, plays basketball at the University of Arizona after transferring from Nevada Reno, following a star-studded high school career when he was a consensus five-star recruit and won a pair of gold medals as a part of USA Basketball – U16 Fiba Americas Team and U17 World Championship Team. His uncle played basketball at Louisiana Lafayette. And Parler’s father played at San Jose State.

Today, Parler is the next in line to continue the tradition.

“What motivates me is just to be great,” Parler said. “My dad played in college. I have a lot of cousins and friends who play in college, and I just want to be on that level and I want to succeed just like them.”

What Parler’s family showed him is that nothing comes easy.

“They taught me that it’s really a grind,” Parler said. “It’s a process. It’s not something that’s just going to be handed to you. You’ve got to put in everything. You’ve got to put in all your work to get everything out of it. Nothing comes easy.”

Dating back to the beginning of his football career at 8 years old, Parler knew where a strong work ethic would take him.

In seventh grade, Parler ran for 1,000 yards – a pinnacle moment showcasing where his future might be heading.

“It was like, ‘Hey, I’m kind of good at this. Let’s see where this takes me,’” Parler said.

After one year at Folsom, it is much of the same.

Although there’s been no direct recruiting for Parler yet, the interest is there for the class of 2023 prospect. And, as Parler knows, colleges flock to Folsom – consistently one of the top programs in Northern California and across the state, winning two state championships since 2017.

All Parler wants is an opportunity, and he’s working to ensure it happens over the next three years of his high school career.

“That would be great,” Parler said. “Just to lift a burden off my parents so they don’t have to pay for college so they can put more of that money that they saved for me for my sister. It would be a great experience, and I believe it’s a life changing one.”

And Parler is making the most of this longer offseason.

Parler’s been working on his catching, downhill running and working to be as explosive of an athlete as he can.


“Especially being at Folsom I’ve seen myself get a lot stronger in my lifts, my catching has improved, my route running, a lot of stuff that makes me more of a finesse back because I believe I’m a pretty good power back right now,” Parler said. “Just want to get a complete game.”

With his Folsom Bulldogs teammates, Parler strives for it all – including history.

“I want to go undefeated,” Parler said. “We play De La Salle this year, and I would like to beat them this year. I don’t think they’ve lost to a NorCal team in the last 20-something years, so it would be a good statement win for us to go out there and beat them.”

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Greule on January 29, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    I’ve known Donovan for a long time and he is not only a hard worker but a great teammate and friend, too. He genuinely loves his family and loves the game. I am
    excited to watch him do big things on and off the field.

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