The Oklahoman’s Super 30: Del City’s Donovan Stephens ‘the complete package’
DEL CITY — Donovan Stephens didn’t dream about playing college football when he was growing up.
Although Stephens enjoyed the sport during his childhood, he hadn’t realized his potential.
However, Stephens’ mindset drastically changed when he began flourishing at Del City High School. As Division I offers rolled in, Stephens started viewing football as his ticket to an exciting future.
“I found a love for (football),” he said. “I found out I could get my education paid for, continue my life, get my mom a house.”
Stephens is No. 14 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top 2021 recruits.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker has received offers from Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Boise State, among others.
Stephens has started for Del City since his sophomore season.
Last year, he finished with 135 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions while also playing some running back. Stephens and the Del City defense allowed seven or fewer points in four games before the Eagles lost to eventual champion Bixby in the Class 6A-II semifinals.
- Related to this story
- Article: A look at The Oklahoman's 2021 Super 30 feature series
- Article: The Oklahoman's Super 30: Arkansas commit Javion Hunt a poised and mature leader for Carl Albert
- Article: The Oklahoman’s Super 30: Beggs superstar Kendal Daniels maintains laid back demeanor through dynamic recruitment
Stephens has the physical tools that college coaches look for, including superior strength and speed, but the way he approaches the game is another thing that became apparent last year.
“He plays defense like you want a kid to play defense,” Del City coach Mike Dunn said. “Reckless abandonment, relentless effort. Everything that we talk about with our defense and our culture, he buys in. He believes it, he preaches it.”
Along with starring in football, Stephens has also competed in powerlifting and track and field during his time at Del City.
Stephens understands his future is in football, but he likes being challenged in other things.
“I’m a competitor,” he said. “Anything I do to compete in, I fall in love with it.”
Stephens has been focused this summer and wants to leave Del City with a state title.
Del City has enough talent to contend. The Eagles will be particularly stout on defense, with Stephens and fellow senior linebacker Rejhan Tatum leading the way.
Stephens continues to impress coaches with his work ethic as he prepares for his senior year.
Dunn said he can’t recall a high school practice or summer workout Stephens has missed.
“He’s just one of those guys,” Dunn said. “He’s the complete package.”
The Oklahoman's Super 30
Name: Donovan Stephens
School: Del City
Super 30 ranking: No. 14
Weight: 210 pounds
Recruited by: Baylor, Eastern Michigan, Hawaii, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech
About the series
The Oklahoman’s Super 30 feature series will spotlight each high school football player on the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2021 class. The series continued Monday with No. 14, Del City’s Donovan Stephens. See No. 13 on the list in Tuesday’s edition of The Oklahoman. Here are the last five players featured:
No. 18: Logan Nobles, OL, Jenks
No. 17: Chase Jackson, WR, Choctaw
No. 16: Tevin Williams, DB, Stillwater
No. 15: Makale Smith, DB, Midwest City
No. 14: Donovan Stephens, LB, Del City