FAYETTEVILLE — Nathan Parodi will suit up for Arkansas at the Outback Bowl for the final time.
Parodi has impressed as a punt returner and has drawn some All-SEC honors for that. Parodi has returned 17 punts for 197 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 11.6 yards per return and his long was an 80-yard touchdown against UAPB. He also has two tackles this season. Sam Pittman is impressed with Parodi.
“He is awesome, a great student, a fine teammate, a workaholic, doesn’t complain,” Pittman said. “I am going to put him on scholarship next semester. Not because he came and talk to me on anything, but because he’s earned it. So his last semester we’ll be able to pay for his schooling.
“He certainly has been a great Razorback and we are awful proud of him and what he has done. You ask about a guy, you can tell a lot about a guy on the way his teammates look at him, way they talk about him and he is one of the most popular guys on this team.”
Parodi came to Arkansas in 2018 as a preferred walk-on under then coach Chad Morris out of Austin (Texas) Lake Travis. He didn’t play in 2018. Then in 2019, Parodi played in 11 games and had five tackles. He returned two punts for 30 yards. He totaled 113 plays according to Pro Football Focus.
Last fall, he returned three punts for 14 yards. He finished second on the team posting three kickoff returns for 37 yards. According to Pro Football Focus, saw action in 72 special teams plays, 45 on kickoff returns and 27 on punt returns, registering a 66.3 punt return grade.
As a senior at Lake Travis in 2017 he played in all three phases of the game, recording 90 tackles, including 53 solo, with seven interceptions and three passes defended in 16 games. Also racked up 493 kick return yards and 96 punt return yards, helping Lake Travis to a runner-up finish in the 2017 Texas State 6A Conference Championship game.