Hall of Famer Steve Largent hopes plaque at Putnam City inspired students to succeed

BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, swright@opubco.com Published: November 1, 2012
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Steve Largent says he doesn't need another plaque honoring him.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer wants the plaque unveiled at Putnam City High School on Thursday to resemble inspiration to current and future Putnam City students.

Maybe they have a difficult home life, or they're struggling with grades — just like Largent was — and the plaque can remind them that those factors don't have to determine future success.

The plaque, which will permanently reside inside the school, was provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate to recognize Largent as a “Hometown Hall of Famer.”

“Steve Largent worked at it,” said his high school baseball coach, Larry Guerkink, who presented the plaque during a ceremony in Putnam City's auditorium. “He worked at it as an athlete. He worked at it as a student — not as much here, but later on. He worked hard to achieve success.”

Largent spoke to the student body about his life in high school, coming from a broken home with an alcoholic step-father. His grades were mediocre — “I was lucky to get a ‘B,'” he said — until a counselor told him he needed to go to trade school or get a job when he graduated, because he wouldn't survive in college academically.

That moment inspired him, and he graduated from Tulsa University with better than a 3.0 grade-point average. He went on to play 15 NFL seasons for the Seattle Seahawks with 13,089 receiving yards and 100 touchdowns.

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