JENKS — Marquise Overton is excited to be the latest in a long line of Jenks football products to become a Sooner.
“It’s really cool,” Overton said. “We have a lot of guys that went to Jenks and then went to OU, and now I get to follow in those footsteps.”
The four-star defensive tackle is ranked No. 4 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top college football prospects, and committed to Oklahoma on Jan. 3.
Overton says he’s solidly committed, meaning that next February, the Sooners will sign a player from Jenks for the fourth straight season and the fifth time in seven years.
The Trojans represent one of Oklahoma’s most successful high school football programs, winning 14 state championships, including the last two Class 6A titles and 11 championships over coach Allan Trimble’s 18 years at the helm.
“Honestly, I think OU just does a really great job of identifying talent in the state that can go help them win,” Trimble said.
Overton (6-foot-1, 300 pounds) is the latest example of that. Right now, he’s the only prospect from the state committed to the Sooners in their 2015 recruiting class.
He chose the Sooners over offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Texas Tech, among others.
Overton said he didn’t necessarily choose OU because of the program’s history with Jenks, but that it will be nice to play with some former Trojans like safety Steven Parker, running back Alex Ross and wide receiver Jordan Smallwood.
Parker, who signed with OU just last February, should have an opportunity to make an immediate impact in the Sooners’ inexperienced defensive backfield as a true freshman.
Defensive back Gabe Lynn, who was a senior on last year’s Sooner team, signed with Oklahoma in 2009. Trimble has also sent guys like Rocky Calmus — a Butkus Award winner and national champion at OU — running back Kejuan Jones and defensive lineman Corey Callens to Norman.
Callens, a 1996 Jenks grad, now works as a graduate assistant coach with the Sooners.
Trimble said he started to think Overton was capable of playing on the Division I level when he was a sophomore.
“He was kinda gangly and uncertain of how big and how talented he’s gonna be, but he was a great effort player,” Trimble said. “He played so hard, with great intensity for a young guy. I knew then with his size potential and his intensity that he’d have a chance to go play at a good school.”