The Oklahoma Sooners football program will head into national signing day on a high note.
That’s because 247Sports composite 4-star safety Steven Parker announced his decision to commit to Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon, via SoonerScoop.com’s Eddie Radosevich:
The No. 9-ranked safety in the nation, Parker is poised to offer a solution for the team’s secondary. That’s an area that quickly became a problem with the departures of cornerback Aaron Colvin and safety Gabe Lynn.
Parker certainly boasts the resume to go along with the hype.
Over his final two seasons at Jenks High, Parker recorded 124 tackles and nine interceptions. He also contributed on offense during the past year, hauling in 34 passes for 622 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Sooners have a lot to be excited about in the Jenks, Okla., native.
At 6’2” and 188 pounds, Parker certainly has the frame to excel at his position. Unlike smaller defensive backs who depend on speed and leaping ability, Parker relies on his height to disrupt passes and to act as extra recovery speed if needed.
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t possess speed—Parker was clocked with a 40 time of 4.50 after all.
That, paired with his long stride, allows Parker to cover a significant amount of ground quickly. And although he may not pack the boom with his hits, Parker’s impressive lateral ability and great instincts make him one of this class’ surest tacklers in open space.
However, the biggest asset Parker brings to the table is his ability to show up for the big games.
During the 2013 season, he led the Trojans to a 14-0 record and their second consecutive Class 6A championship. Parker starred on both sides of the ball during the title bout, recording six tackles and an interception while also making five catches for 164 yards and a touchdown.
“In the biggest games, Steven shined the brightest,” Jenks head coach Allan Trimble said, per Tulsa World’s Barry Lewis. “And what’s really impressive is how he handled everything this year. He is a great team player.”
Those kind of characteristics will make Parker a valuable asset to a talented Oklahoma defense.
The unit is set to welcome back nine starters—including the entire front seven—from a defense that was a lot better than most people expected. The Sooners finished 2013 No. 22 in scoring defense (22.1 PPG) and No. 20 in total defense (350.2 YPG).
Now, with Parker on board, Oklahoma just received one of the finishing pieces on a defense that is on the verge of a breakout season.
Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.