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Monday, March 25, 2013
Could Texas add another top Okla. recruit?

By William Wilkerson

The commitments of Demarco Cobbs and Josh Turner to Texas are recent proof that the Longhorns can go into Oklahoma and woo some of that state’s top talent to come south of the Red River.

One ESPN Watch List prospect whom Texas is hoping will follow suit is Jenks, Okla., safety Steven Parker, who recently got to experience what the Longhorns have to offer for the first time.

Parker, who is 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, visited Texas A&M on Thursday and continued his tour of Texas with a stop later that day in Austin.

“The Texas visit was pretty cool,” said Parker, who spoke with Cobbs about the process while visiting. “They were just showing me the locker room, the facilities. I got to go out to practice, and that was pretty great.”

One of the main things he took away from his visit was the time spent talking with Longhorns defensive backs coach Duane Akina.

“He said he liked my footwork and that he liked that I was a tall corner/safety and that I was diverse,” Parker said. “He thought I could flip my hips very good and thought I was the person for him.”

Akina also tried to sell Parker on Texas' "DBU" mantra.

“He told me how they were DBU and thinks I could be the next great one,” Parker said. “It really opened my eyes. I’ll probably think about that throughout my recruiting process. I’m going to work hard to get to that level. When I get to the point when I want to make my decision I will think about that.”

Parker said he has a lot to think about and will take his time doing so. He’s not likely to make a decision anytime soon.

There are plenty of schools to consider. Texas was one of the most recent to offer Parker, whose offer list also includes Alabama, Arizona State, Memphis, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington State.

“I feel like it’s really great,” he said of all the offers. “I feel like it’s just a blessing. I thank God every day. It tells me where I am at as a player. One thing I wanted to do as I got my offers was go to some of these camps to see where I compared to other kids. I think it is pretty great. I love it.”

But why him? There are a lot of good safeties out there.

“I don’t know. Right after OU offered, [Oklahoma State] offered,” he said. “Then Alabama somehow got in the mix. I want to thank my coaches because I feel like they had a lot to do with my recruiting. I really do want to thank them. That’s the main reason how this all got started.”

It’s seen too often that recruits get complacent when offers start flooding in, but Parker said that won’t be him.

“I think it does the opposite,” he said. “I still work every day. I am on the track right now. I am trying to get faster and stronger. I am just that competitive. I want to be the best. I lift every day.”

Parker doesn’t have any favorites right now. He’ll consider that list later. Right now he’s focused on AAU basketball with Athletes First. He has been playing AAU ball since he was in second grade and will see whether he can garner interest from any basketball programs this summer. It’s safe to say he has a fallback plan if hoops doesn’t work out.