West Virginia game bigger than just win for Parnell Motley
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.
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.