West Vir­ginia game big­ger than just win for Par­nell Mot­ley

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - COWBOY POSTGAME - Ryan Aber

Ex­it­ing Mi­lan Puskar Sta­dium early Satur­day morn­ing af­ter Ok­la­homa’s 59-56 win over West Vir­ginia, Soon­ers corner­back Par­nell Mot­ley had a mis­sion.

As the OU fans gath­ered out­side the gate clam­ored for Mot­ley’s au­to­graph, he scanned the crowd look­ing for fa­mil­iar faces.

Fi­nally, at the end of a horse­shoe of bar­ri­cades, Mot­ley spot­ted his brother, his cousin, his girl­friend, and his girl­friend’s younger brother bun­dled up in the cold.

He chat­ted with them for a few min­utes and then pulled out his phone to share the mo­ment with the peo­ple he’d been most happy were there to wit­ness what was — de­spite giv­ing up 56 points and 704 yards of to­tal of­fense — one of Mot­ley’s and the cor­ner­backs’ bet­ter games of the sea­son.

Mot­ley called his fa­ther, Frank Bell.

“I had to show you some­thing,” Mot­ley told his dad.

Bell hadn’t seen his son

play live since Mot­ley was a ju­nior in high school. Since Mot­ley ar­rived in Nor­man, the only way Bell had watched his son play came on a small tele­vi­sion in the prison that has been his home for the last three years or so.

Bell was re­leased about a month ago, and with the Soon­ers be­ing less than four hours from Mot­ley’s home­town of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., the fam­ily loaded into three cars and made the drive to Mor­gan­town.

That wasn’t the only rea­son the game was spe­cial for Mot­ley.

His mother, Robin Bell, suf­fered a stroke about a year ago and hadn’t been able to see the Soon­ers play since last Septem­ber when they beat Ohio State.

Sit­ting up in the stands was emo­tional for Mot­ley’s fam­ily.

“My mom couldn’t stop cry­ing,” said Mot­ley’s brother, Guy Young Jr.

Nei­ther could Mot­ley’s fa­ther.

“We come from a long, long, long story — drama,” Young said. “So to see him over­come the strug­gles and stuff that we went through and what our fam­ily’s went through, it’s a bless­ing.”

Un­for­tu­nately, Mot­ley didn’t get a chance to see his par­ents af­ter the game, as Robin’s side was both­er­ing her and she couldn’t wait out in the cold Novem­ber night in West Vir­ginia, so Frank had to take her back to the car.

The fam­ily also had to hit the road quick, since Young had to be back home in time to be at work at 5 a.m.

Next week, the fam­ily will have to make a de­ci­sion or split up for cham­pi­onship Satur­day.

While Mot­ley’s Soon­ers will be tak­ing on Texas in AT&T Sta­dium in Ar­ling­ton, Texas, Young’s son, Jaylen Twyman, will be play­ing for Pitt in the ACC Cham­pi­onship Game against Clemson.

But that’s a worry for the next few days.

“I just gotta put on a show for my fam­ily and make sure I gave them what they wanted to see,” Mot­ley said.

[email protected] ok­la­homan.com


Ok­la­homa’s Par­nell Mot­ley had both of his par­ents in the stands for Fri­day’s win over West Vir­ginia. His mom had seen him play for the Soon­ers just once. His fa­ther was watch­ing him play live for the first time.

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