Westward-Bound Sooner

Steven Parker goes to LA as an undrafted free agent.

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Photo courtesy The University of Oklahoma

Editor’s note: This is a followup to our May story Ready for Prime Time. Read the original story and watch our video interview with Steven Parker.

The 2018 NFL Draft didn’t go like Steven Parker hoped as the former Jenks and Oklahoma Sooner defensive back wasn’t selected during the three-day event in Arlington, Texas, in late April.

However, the silver lining for Parker, who prepared for the draft in the Dallas area, Tulsa and in Norman, as of April 28, is that he signed with the Los Angeles Rams.

“Yeah, I didn’t get exactly what I wanted as far as getting drafted, but I’m taking it as a humbling experience,” Parker said. “I’m enjoying myself, making sure I’m coming into camp ready to go. I (know I) have to do more to make the team (as an undrafted free agent).”

Since the draft, Parker has been working out in Norman before heading to LA as the Rams begin their rookie-only mini camp on May 14.

Photo courtesy The University of Oklahoma

After enduring three nights of the draft only to not hear his name called, an experience he calls “nerve wracking,” he’s elated to land with the Rams, a team he’d been speaking with before and during the draft.

Last season, their first since returning to LA, the Rams went 11-5, earning their first playoff berth since 2003, when the franchise was in St. Louis. Head coach Sean McVay earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in his first season, making this a great time to join their organization.

“That’s the thing, this team is on the rise. They had a great year last year,” Parker said. “They have a great defense, a great defensive coordinator. They’ve brought in some great coaches who have done a fantastic job. I’m ready to step out there and see exactly what the NFL wants.”

Heading west will be a new experience, especially since he doesn’t know really anyone with the Rams other than cornerback Kevin Peterson, an OSU product who he played against in the Bedlam Series.

Parker eagerly looks forward to practicing in the temperate climate LA is known for, but his purpose with the Rams remains simple. “Honestly, just learning the playbook,” he said. “That’s one thing that I’m just ready to take on, is that challenge of learning the new terminologies and new signals. That’s my main focus, is just trying to make the football team. I’m not really out there to enjoy myself. I’ll enjoy myself on the football field, but I’m not really trying to do anything else off the field.”

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