The Oklahoman’s Super 30: Tulsa Booker T. Washington’s Keuan Parker grinded for perfection
TULSA — Keuan Parker learned quickly he needed to take care of all his responsibilities.
The standout senior defensive back at Tulsa Booker T. Washington was only 1 when his father died. The oldest of five siblings, Parker became the figure everyone looked up to in the family.
It pushed him to excel in sports. Pushed him in the classroom. Pushed him in all facets. He wanted to succeed and be a positive role model for his siblings.
“I didn’t want them to take anything for granted,” Parker said.
That leadership and mentality helped Parker become one of the state’s top football players in the process. He’s No. 8 on The Oklahoman’s 2021 Super 30 list of the top high school football recruits in the state.
During his junior season, Parker recorded 28 tackles, one sack and two interceptions. He helped Tulsa Washington earn a berth in the Class 6A-II playoffs.
That sparked a big spring, as numerous colleges offered the lockdown corner.
Yet as multiple programs pitched for Parker to commit to them, he wanted something that was similar to family. That’s why he committed to Arkansas.
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Razorbacks’ coach Sam Pittman was born in El Reno and went to high school in Grove, so his recruiting connections run throughout the region. Arkansas’ defensive coordinator, Barry Odom, was born in Lawton and graduated from Ada, adding to the Oklahoma feel on the coaching staff in Fayetteville.
Myles Slusher, a current Arkansas freshman defensive back and former Broken Arrow star, is best friends with Parker, which was another connection that bonded him to the Razorbacks.
On top of that, he wanted to help resurrect Arkansas football.
“That was one of the things that stood out to him was to be able to go there and lead them back to prominence,” Tulsa Washington coach Jonathan Brown said. “It’s an SEC school, so he’s going to be going up against top-notch talent. I wanted him to do that, and I’m proud of him.
“He just wanted to go somewhere where he can build the program up and himself up, and he’s going to be able to do that there.”
Parker’s excellence started to shine last season.
Teams rarely threw his way because his man was never open. Brown, who was the Hornets’ defensive coordinator last year, knew what to expect nearly every game.
Opponents weren’t going to throw Parker’s way because he was going to make a play. Break up a pass. Nab an interception. Have a tackle for loss.
Parker has strived for perfection since he stepped on the field as a freshman, and in the process he has crafted himself into one of the top defensive backs in the country.
He’s excited for what’s ahead.
“I love being a defensive back,” Parker said. “The more I learn about the position and more I get into it, the more special it becomes. I like it.”
The Oklahoman’s 2021 Super 30
Name: Keuan Parker
School: Tulsa Booker T. Washington
Super 30 ranking: No. 8
Weight: 178 pounds
Position: Defensive back
Committed to: Arkansas
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 2020 class. The series continued Sunday with No. 8, Tulsa Booker T. Washington’s Keuan Parker. See No. 7 on the list in Monday’s editions of The Oklahoman. Here are the last five players we’ve featured:
No. 12: Solomon Wright, DL, Vian
No. 11: Aden Kelley, OL/DL, Thomas
No. 10: Jaden Bray, WR, Norman
No. 9: Jordan Mukes, DB, Choctaw
No. 8: Keuan Parker, DB, Tulsa Washington