Ian Park, one of the players at Northwestern who came here with a high school teammate. Dude's a 6'4, 295-pound center, and as such, should spend a year sitting behind the guy who might be the best center in the Big Ten. We're okay with that! Now let's get to know Ian:
Like Jack Schwaba, Park went to Upper St. Clair in suburban Pitt. Northwestern's biggest enemy, apparently: Lower St. Clair. They can suck it. Park was a key factor at right guard for a run-heavy team, ranking 46th amongst guards and 29th amongst Pennsylvania players per 247's composite, earning first-team all-state honors as the squad made it to the State Finals his senior year in 2011. He got offers from local schools like Pitt and West Virginia, some major conference squads in Syracuse and Maryland, and an NU-like school in Vandy, but chose Northwestern the May before his senior year. Let's watch a short and sweet high school highlights video:
Way to keep fighting after his helmet came off on that one play.
It's worth noting that Park's tinier, but older brother, Alex, was the starting QB for Dartmouth this past season.
HE REDSHIRTED. THEY ALWAYS REDSHIRT. It is noteworthy that he's switched from guard to center, tho.
Anagram of choice
Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling
Ian Park, anagrammed is
Not just a house of pain, Ian Park is a giant boat capable of sustaining all the species in the world that brings pain. (Also considered: In parka. Not a lot of options, man.)
Relevant musical selection
"Blue Slide Park", Mac Miller
Kind of tough to pick a song here -- "parks" is kind of a theme of rap music -- but I went with Mac Miller because Ian's a Pittsburgh kid.
I used to legitimately HATE Mac Miller -- you'd think I'd love him because he's a Jewish kid that raps -- because he isn't that clever, and rapping about partying and smoking a lot of weed isn't very interesting if you're just a rich kid from the suburbs. But he had an ear for faded beats, and his most second album is, like, a legitimate rap album with less trite subject matter. He sounds like someone who knows his job is rapping and works on his craft more than just a kid rapping about being a kid. I've upgraded him to "listenable-to," with the potential to go higher.
Ian tweets at @ianpark_ -- somebody took the one without a random _ in it afterwards, I guess. I'm putting this one on the lower echelon of NU football twitters, though.
Congrats to @JackKonopka75 for getting his hair cut— Ian Park (@ianpark_) June 3, 2013
The guy who keeps yelling "Re-donk-culous" at the masters is an interesting character— Ian Park (@ianpark_) April 13, 2013
finished my Korean final, bowed to my teacher, and left the building. 1 final to go.— Ian Park (@ianpark_) March 18, 2013
(Park, if you couldn't guess, is Korean.)
How he can help
He clearly had the talent to play guard effectively in high school, it'll be interesting he sees to adept to a more mentally challenging position at center.
Park will be Brandon Vitabile's backup, and hopefully, it stays that way. Not a knock on Park: Vitabile is the rock of Northwestern's line, so Park will likely spend the vast majority of his time on the sideline, and that's okay. That will remain the case in 2014, and hopefully he'll be ready to start come 2015 after three seasons as an understudy.