Fans turned out in droves this weekend for the showdown between Oklahoma high school powerhouses Broken Arrow and Jenks. There is always plenty of Division One talent on display during these games, as Cory Treece pointed out in his article yesterday. One of the more highly recruited athletes in the state AND the country was part of this game...2012 OKPreps Junior of the Year, Steven Parker.
Looking at his film, it is immediately obvious that Parker has great awareness and vision at the safety position. He has a nose for the football and isn't afraid to move into linebacker depth and take on a runner one-on-on. His 102 career tackles prove that he isn't afraid of contact. In this day and age, teams need a safety that has the ability to cover like a defensive back, but have the tackling and physicality of a linebacker (See Shamiel Gary and Lyndell Johnson).
A growing problem at this position is poor tackling fundamentals, mostly due to the "thumper" mentality in the NFL, where safeties simply try to pound the opposing player rather than wrapping up, resulting in an epidemic of missed tackles. Parker does not exhibit this trait. While fundamentally sound throughout, his tackling is arguably his strongest of that core group of basic skills.
Parker plays both sides of the ball for Jenks and, although he won't be taking that on at the next level, his time on offense has allowed him to develop his playmaking ability in open space, on display when recovering a fumble or grabbing an interception. Out of seven career picks, he has taken two back for touchdowns.
The only question mark with Parker is that he can over commit due to his comfort with being physical and can bite on fakes, unable to recover into coverage position. Overall though, his awareness is solid. This sort of thing will get better over time as he matures into the potential player that he can and should be.
Pro Comparison: Former OU great Roy Williams.
- 188 lbs.
- 4.5-40 time
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State: Recruited by Van Malone
- Offered by a total of 18 schools. Seventeen are BCS-qualifying schools.
|Steven Parker Career Stats
|As of Oct. 12