“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.”