I don’t know how I missed this touching recruiting story:
Donald Stephenson wakes early in the cold morning, takes a shower and grabs his new Oklahoma hat with tags still attached. He’s ready for his big moment.
It’s national signing day, when high school boys and girls celebrate their athletic achievements, and the Sooners need Stephenson’s letter of intent faxed in immediately.
Stephenson and his mother, Ethel, walk silently to his car. A radio station in Oklahoma calls his cell phone for an interview. He doesn’t wear a white dress shirt, necktie or slacks. Stephenson’s clothed in a Scarface hoodie and jeans. There’s no special ceremony set up at Blue Springs High School. And Stephenson can’t walk inside there anyway, so he’s heading to Office Depot.
On Wednesday, national signing day, Stephenson, the Central transfer whose injury-depleted senior season at Blue Springs helped him earn a Division I scholarship, was serving a 10-day suspension. A few weeks back, Stephenson went to a school dance, and, as he describes, ran into some “bad luck.” As for Stephenson’s actions that night, Blue Springs athletic director Tim Crone says it led to a “discipline situation that we’re handling at school.”
So when television stations called Blue Springs to stage a signing-day shoot with its biggest recruit, Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe asked them to come another day…
And there’s more:
The day after Christmas, Stephenson went to a movie with two friends. The show was sold out, and, instead of sitting inside a darkened theater, Stephenson spent that night in a Leawood jail cell. Stephenson was arrested and charged with multiple counts of burglary of a motor vehicle, theft and criminal damage.
“I just had bad luck, that’s about it,” Stephenson says. “I’d rather not talk about that. I’ve never went through anything like this, and it’s all just piling on me my senior year.”
A Texas blogger has a couple more observations.