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Oklahoma football: Steven Parker headed to the school where his grandfather left a legacy

Charles Parker was one of OU's first black football players, though he eventually had to leave the school after a concussion. His grandson, Jenks star Steven Parker II, signed with OU earlier this month.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 15, 2014

/articleid/3934217/1/pictures/2338385">Photo - Jenks Steven Parker and Dylan Harding at the college signing at Jenks, OK,  Feb. 5, 2014.  STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Jenks Steven Parker and Dylan Harding at the college signing at Jenks, OK, Feb. 5, 2014. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

“He did not cross that bridge with me,” Steven said. “I think he felt like that would've built the wrong type of kid and that wasn't what he was looking for.”

But by the time he was 16 or 17 years old, he'd heard enough of his father's story to be angry about it. He graduated from Star Spencer in 1978 and went on to play football at Oklahoma State.

That sort of anger is what he tried to prevent while his son was developing into a standout football player at Jenks. But when people would ask the elder Steven Parker about his father's legacy, his young son would usually be around and hear some of it.

“He learned by default, so I had to sit him down and tell him about it,” Parker said. “He was maybe 10 of 12, too young to really understand what I was saying.”

Steven Parker II (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) was the nation's No. 53-ranked player according to Rivals.com. He finished his senior season with 53 tackles and six interceptions, while also contributing 34 receptions, 622 yards and nine touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball for the Class 6A state champion Trojans.

“Basically I'm just going to try to live up to my grandfather and try to be better,” Parker said. “That's my biggest goal. I'm going to play for my family but ultimately I want to be the better man and I think that's what my dad wants.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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