JENKS — Steven Parker walked into the Frank Herald Gymnasium at Jenks around 1 p.m. Wednesday with a little jump in his step.
Parker held his younger sister London's hand as he navigated through the crowd to get into the gym for the announcement.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety, the No. 53 player nationally according to Rivals.com, wore a crimson shirt with a gold upside-down Longhorns logo, an OU hat and a smile as wide as it could get.
When it was the Trojans football players' turns to go, Parker sat comfortably at the table in front of a large group of classmates, continuing to play with London while Jenks coach Allan Trimble talked about each of his players who signed.
He'd said a day earlier when he made the announcement he would sign with Oklahoma that the recruiting process had worn on him and he showed again on signing day the burden that was now gone.
“It's been a whole lot of relief,” Parker said. “The basketball game last night was probably the most fun I've actually had playing basketball this year. Really all the weight got lifted off my shoulders and I felt like I could just play.”
He wasn't the only one relieved.
“It's a huge weight lifted off his shoulder but now I can get back to my life too,” Steven Parker Sr., Parker's father, said. “It's been trying but it's a great situation to be in. Everybody thinks this right here is a walk in the park and they're fooling themselves. If you wait and go through the process, it's a trying process. … In the end, he's glad he had the opportunity.”
Jenks has sent plenty of players to Norman in recent years, including safety Gabe Lynn. Lynn just wrapped up his college career in the Sooners' Sugar Bowl win.
“He's a different kind of player,” Trojans coach Allan Trimble said. “We played Gabe a lot at free but Gabe kind of matured into being a hitting safety at OU. Steven I think is going to be able to do both. He's got great range but yet he's going to be a good, good tackler. Maybe more diverse. I think Steven will maybe be able to do more things because of his size.”