Chasing an NFL Dream, the final chapter: Undrafted but undeterred, Steven Parker begins his NFL journey with confidence

Apr 30, 2018 | by By Steven Parker (As told to Tulsa World sports writer Eric Bailey), Tulsa World

I’m not dwelling on being undrafted this year. I’m looking at signing an undrafted free agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams as a blessing in disguise. I can look at it as making me want to work harder. I didn’t get invited to the combine. That’s how I’m going to go into this scenario and think about all the hard times that I’ve had. To me, this is just some adversity that I’m going through. Me not getting drafted, I can look at that and it’ll make me want to work that much harder.

I can remember my dad. He had me up in the morning like a regular workout when I was young, running a mile, basically position drills, push ups and sit ups. I can refer back to all of that and just remembering all the times I had just basically working out and getting it in as far as grinding. It showed me how hard it was to get to this position and I really cherish it.

The Rams have been the team that’s been there right in my corner. They’ve said that they’ve liked me a lot, that I was a steal in the draft. They told me they wanted to take a safety and they wanted to sign me. To me, it was the best destination for me to go ahead and try to make a team. For that, I thank them.

It’s good having Ogbo (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) there too. I actually talked to Ogbo and we talked about being teammates again. It’s really cool that we had the last year together, both being captains and then we end up going to the same destination. Therefore, us being together again, it’s going to make us better because, first off, we’re ex-teammates who become teammates again and now we can push each other and basically learn from each other as well. We can go through the film and the playbook. We can trust each other as far as being there. We don’t have to go there and not know anybody.

I know some guys who have (made it on an NFL roster despite not being drafted). One guy in particular who has done it and actually been a top corner in the league lately is Chris Harris Jr. That’s a guy right there who I can really pinpoint. He’s from Tulsa. He’s a guy whose gone through the exact same process of not being drafted and becoming a top corner in the league now. That’s something that I can look at and see that it’s been done before. It’s nothing new. It’s just another time, another time frame, and I’m ready to get back at it.

I’m just going to work out and do the same exact thing that brought me here. Basically, I’ll just be training and staying ready and I’ll also be taking my recovery (cold tubs, hot tubs, stretching) during this time. I’m going to make sure I’m staying ready, I’m not pulling anything and I’m loose. I leave on May 11 and we start up on May 14.

My family has been there since day one. They’ve been my greatest supporting staff and I thank them for that. They watched me go through not getting drafted and I actually talked to them afterward and told them this is a blessing in disguise. God has my back no matter what. I’m going to go up there and give it my best shot.

I just tell all the fans thank you for supporting me and I know they continue to support me. I can leave my legacy behind in Norman, but I can always say Boomer Sooner every single day of my life. That patch will never leave. It’s a family. It’s a family that’s very supportive and loving. I really thank all the fans.