Willie Parker, Jr. (born November 11, 1980) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His exceptional speed has gained him the nickname "Fast Willie".
Willie Parker was born in Clinton, North Carolina, attended Clinton High School, and was a letterman in football. He was a two-time All-Conference and a two-time All-Region honoree. As a junior, he rushed for 1,329 yards and 20 touchdowns and helped lead his team to the state AA title. As a senior, he rushed for 1,801 yards and 18 touchdowns (while averaging 12.3 yards per carry) and was also named the County Player of the Year. One of Parker's cousins is Leonard Henry, former Miami Dolphins running back.
He attended the University of North Carolina. In his first year he had some success with 355 yards on 84 carries, but was only used sparingly in his last three years due to decisions made by former head Coach John Bunting to restrict Parker's playing time until he "bulked up" to fit within Bunting's attempt at establishing a power running game. In addition, Parker's father has stated that he thought the murder of Parker's best friend from home during Parker's sophomore year made it difficult for him to adapt to the new system at North Carolina.