CHAMPAIGN – Justin Parr played his first year of college baseball across town from his older brother.
Next season, the sophomore-to-be and Josh Parr will be teammates.
Justin Parr, who helped Parkland College reach the 2010 NJCAA Division II World Series, signed a national letter of intent with the University of Illinois. Illini coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing Wednesday.
The Parrs will be the first brothers to play on the same UI baseball team since Danny and Dusty Rhodes in 1998. Josh Parr, a junior-to-be, started all 52 Illini games last season at shortstop after starting at second base as a freshman.
Justin Parr, who played both middle infield positions as well as the outfield for a 50-win Cobras team, enters Illinois with three seasons of remaining eligibility.
"Justin is a good athlete who will be able to play three infield positions or any outfield position for us," Illinois associate head coach Eric Snider said. "He's a left-handed hitter with a good approach who uses the whole field. He has good speed and will be a very valuable player for us."
Parr hit .378 for Parkland – the third highest on the team – with 39 RBI and a .439 on-base percentage. He also was 11 of 16 in stolen base attempts.
"Justin is similar to Josh in that he's very athletic and can play multiple positions," Parkland coach Matt Kennedy said. "He has great instincts for the game and will continue to get stronger and quicker. I'm confident that he'll make a smooth transition to the Division I level."