TULSA, Okla. – It has been an absolute recruiting circus for Jenks (Okla.) High safety Steven Parker during the last couple of months.
All Parker has wanted to do was play his senior season and finish with another state championship. Mission accomplished as Parker saved his best performance for his last one in a 38-22 win against Tulsa (Okla.) Union in the Oklahoma Class 6A championship Thursday night at Tulsa University.
Parker is a four-star safety, but on this night, it was about him taking control from the other side of the ball. He did it early, he did it often on his way to setting a career high for catches in a game and yards in a game.
Parker finished with five catches for 164 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 21 yards and had three tackles and an interception.
"I just wanted to make it special," Parker said. "I knew it was my last game, and I wanted to go out as a champion. This means even more to me than last year."
Jenks has won 26 consecutive games en route to being back-to-back state champions, defeating Tulsa Union twice this season and Euless (Texas) Trinity along the way.
Parker set the tone early. Following a Tulsa Union score on the first drive, he had a 44-yard reception on the first drive that set up a Cameron Booty touchdown. Booty himself had quite the game with 26 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns for the transfer from Richardson (Texas) High.
The next possession was all Parker as he made a diving 44-yard touchdown reception to give Jenks the lead it would never relinquish.
The top uncommitted prospect in the state, Parker has had a target on his back all season among OU and OSU fans. Both schools view him as a top choice, while Aggie fans have every reason to believe he'll be headed to College Station as well.
It never distracted Parker on the field. With Tulsa Union trying to squeeze a miracle in the final minutes, Parker sealed the deal with an interception. Parker was matched up with OU wide receiver commit Jeffery Mead for most of the game and kept him out of the end zone.
Jenks coach Allan Trimble summed it up nicely.
"Great player. Great kid. Great interception," Trimble said.
Parker was non-committal about his plans after the game. He said he hasn't decided if he is going to visit anywhere this weekend. He has already made official visits to A&M and Arkansas. It's also his birthday weekend so he might just stay home.
He has made several unofficial visits to OU this season and has also been at OSU. Parker said he has his favorites. Parker said he has his deadline. He's not revealing the info for either scenario, but the finish line is in sight for the two-time state champion.
When he decides, one fan base will be jumping for joy. On the biggest stage in Oklahoma high school football, Parker delivered. Thursday night was just a taste of what's to come for Parker in the future.