Steven Parker, a four-star Class of 2014 safety prospect, made his college decision Tuesday morning, choosing the Oklahoma Sooners. Parker picked OU over Auburn.
Rated as a four-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, Parker is the ninth-best safety in the current recruiting cycle. He's ranked No. 108 among all high school prospects and No. 2 in the state of Oklahoma.
It's a local selection for the safety, who played his high school football at Jenks (Okla.) High School, just under two hours away from the Sooners' home field. Standing 6'2 and weighing in at 188 pounds, he's a touch lanky for a safety, but with a reported 4.5-second 40-yard dash, Parker clearly has the speed to cover ground and be a ballhawk. Despite needing to add some weight, his height will give him an advantage in the defensive backfield, as SB Nation recruiting analyst Wescott Eberts points out.
In the passing game, the Jenks product uses his length and range to break up passes and occasionally pull down interceptions. Where smaller defensive backs have to use their leaping ability to knock down throws, Parker can simply use his height and long arms. In a few looks in man coverage, Parker's short-area burst and transition ability aren't as good as a pure cornerback, perhaps in part due to his height, but again, his length essentially acts as extra recovery speed would for a shorter player.
Parker chose Oklahoma over Auburn despite the Tigers having his final official visit on Feb. 1. He holds scholarship offers from 19 schools around the country, including Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Texas A&M.