Used to be, high school athletes would announce their college destination by holding a press conference and choosing from a table full of hats or unzipping their jacket to reveal the winning school’s logo.
Del City senior Donovan Stephens took it up a notch recently when the highly touted linebacker announced his intentions to play football at Oklahoma State via a music video.
“It’s just something I always wanted to do since I was younger,” remarked Stephens. “I always wanted to make a commitment video. I talked about it my ninth grade year, knowing that it was probably going to happen one day.”
The two-minute video shows Stephens at home and doing drills on the football field. Over a music bed, he gives thanks to those who have supported him. It ends with him tossing his cleats over the crossbar and stating his commitment to OSU.
“To all the collegiate coaches that’s recruited me throughout this whole process,” says Stephens in the video, “and believed in my talents, I’m forever humble. And with that being said, I’ve made my decision. For the next four years, I will be attending Oklahoma State University. Go Pokes!”
Assisting Stephens with the video was Reggie Ganther, father of Del City’s starting quarterback last season, Quinlan Ganther.
“He helped me out with that,” claimed Stephens. “He’s always been around the team, doing videos for us. My ninth grade year he took me to 7-on-7s and since then, he’s been like another father figure to me. He’s always been there when I needed him.”
What did his teammates think of the video?
“They loved it,” said Stephens. “They thought it was really cool. They thought it was real swaggy.”
— Donny 6️⃣ (@dstephens405) August 9, 2020
Stephens chose the Cowboys over offers from Texas Tech and Boise State. The 6-1, 210-pound linebacker is considered a three-star prospect by most recruiting services.
“I built a great relationship with them over the past year,” stated Stephens. “They were my first offer. They were the first ones to take a shot on me and believe in me. They stayed consistent throughout the whole year before they offered me.”
Last year, Stephens helped lead the Eagles to their best season since 1976, advancing to the Class 6A-II semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion, Bixby, 47-19. He tallied 135 tackles, four sacks and added four interceptions.
“Out of 112 workouts during his summer career, he made every single one of them,” said Del City head coach Mike Dunn on Stephens’ commitment to getting better.
“It’s very important to me,” said Stephens on providing a good example to his teammates. “Especially because I love practice. I’ll be there any day, every day. It’s good to show them what hard work can get you.”
With his college commitment out of the way, Stephens can focus on helping Del City make a title run.
“I just need to get better at the little stuff I need to work on,” said Stephens. “Obviously, our team wants to win a state championship.”