The Oklahoman's Super 30: Yukon's Lane Parks embraces leadership going into senior year

YUKON — Lane Parks’ first college football offer didn’t come until right before his junior year

The offensive lineman, who will be a senior this fall at Yukon High School, said colleges weren’t giving him a lot of looks at the beginning. But his luck changed.

A three-inch growth spurt during his sophomore and junior years was a boost for Parks, who weighed around 235 pounds as a sophomore. He is now listed at 6-foot-5 and said he played last season at 275, adding that he’s more motivated than he’s ever been.

“If you were to ask anybody in middle school, football, wrestling, I did not have a very good work ethic,” Parks said. “I was extremely lazy. It got a little bit better freshman year, sophomore year, but I would really say mentally, my work ethic got a lot better. And so obviously in the weight room and conditioning and running all that, I started working a lot harder.”

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Yukon offensive lineman Lane Parks has offers from Navy, Army, Air Force and New Mexico.

Parks’ development has paid off. He now has offers from Navy, Army, Air Force and New Mexico. Harvard has shown an interest, too.

Parks, who is No. 29 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 high school football players for the state, now plays a leadership role on the team.

Marshall Hahn joined the Millers in the summer of 2019 as a wide receivers coach. Hahn said he noticed right away that Parks, then going into his sophomore year, could be a standout.

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“That's three more years of high school ball. Things are looking pretty bright for him,” said Hahn, who was named Yukon’s head coach in February. “And it's panned out to be the case. He just looked and acted much more mature. I don't know about mature as far as the looks, but he definitely played at a more mature level than someone that was a 10th grader.”

Parks played the 2020 season at left guard, but has played all positions on the offensive line. His versatility and size have been a key in the trenches. Parks has also been a wrestler since age 5. As a heavyweight, Parks made it to the state finals last season. The combination of football and wrestling makes Parks a force at the line of scrimmage.

Yukon's Lane Parks (top) takes on Mustang's Christian Rowland in a 285-pound match during the Class 6A West Regionals at Mustang High School on Feb. 22.

“He effortlessly just tosses people downfield,” said former Yukon offensive lineman Austin Jones. “Out of the whole entire time I’ve been at Yukon, those four years, I’ve never seen an offensive lineman do that.”

Jones, who is entering his freshman year at Southern Nazarene University, said he benefited from Parks’ guidance. Going into his junior season, Jones was moved from defensive line to offensive line. Parks, a year behind Jones, helped make Jones’ transition a smooth one.

“He becomes a coach while still being your teammate at the same time, and that's what you want in a leader,” Jones said. “As a player, you just want a guy that can coach you but he's still your friend and your teammate and your brother. He puts people on his back, but he still gets his job done as well.”

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Parks said he’s always dreamed of playing in the NFL, but he is interested in the  medical field.

Although Parks has many options for his college football career, his first goal is winning a Class 6A-I state championship. Yukon lost to arch-rival Mustang 42-21 in the 2020 state playoffs. Parks said he hopes leadership will help lead the Millers to a gold ball in 2021.

“I really blossomed as a leader, vocally, for sure,” Parks said. “I wanted to win the state championship (last season). I still do. That's still a goal of mine and our team.”

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 2022 class. The series continued Thursday with No. 29, Yukon’s Lane Parks. See No. 28 on the list in Friday’s editions of The Oklahoman. Here are the players we’ve featured so far:

No. 30: Carson May, QB, Jones

No. 29: Lane Parks, OL, Yukon

The Oklahoman’s Super 30

Name: Lane Parks | School: Yukon

Super 30 ranking: No. 29

Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 275 pounds

Position: Offensive line

Recruited by: Army, Navy, Air Force, Harvard, New Mexico, Alabama-Birmingham, Texas State