PLANO, TX — Choctaw High School’s Steele Wasel was hard to miss last weekend at the Championship 7v7 Southwest Regional.
And it wasn’t because of his blonde locks either.
Standing 6-foot-4, the 2023 quarterback commanded his Sooner7 7v7 team, flashing the strong arm that helped lead the Yellow Jackets all the way to the Class 6A-II State Championship game against Bixby last fall.
Wasel again found himself making a deep playoff run in Plano, this time helping the Sooner7 team work its way to the quarterfinals before falling to eventual tournament runner-up C-STAT.
Despite having their Sunday afternoon cut a bit short, Wasel told SI Sooners he still enjoyed the competition of the weekend.
“It was pretty fun,” he said. “It was a new group of receivers for me.”
Working with high school teammates Jax Smith and Lamereon Curry, Wasel said he was excited to get a head start in building chemistry with them headed into the 2021 season.
“It’s good to get the connection going early with them,” he said. “Those two guys are going to have breakout years for sure on our offense.”
And the duo should have ample opportunity to shine in the Choctaw offense with Wasel at the helm.
En route to the state final, Wasel racked up 3,324 total yards and 33 touchdowns, showing off his strong arm and his ability to extend plays when called upon. While the Yellow Jackets were pleased with their season a year ago, they enter the 2021 season with their eyes set on one thing— finishing the job.
“It was just a great for that year of experience for us as a program, especially for our offense. We were a young team and will look a lot more polished this year I think. We'll be a lot more efficient,” Wasel said. “We obviously enjoyed the run, had fun, we're happy with it. But, you know, we're definitely not satisfied.
“We just gotta finish it next year.”
Still without an official offer, Wasel said he’s talked to the in-state schools, as well as Texas A&M and USC, and he plans to attend Oklahoma State and Texas A&M’s camps over the summer.
When it comes to finding the right landing spot for himself, Wasel said he would be considering each program’s academics and facilities, but ultimately it would be about finding the right fit for him.
“Kind of a little bit of it all,” he said “but what's most important is just really the right feel. I want coaches that I know I can rely on, that have my back. I want a coach to know they're gonna lead me the right direction in football and in life and in school.”
As far as offensive fit goes, Wasel feels like his skillset makes him pretty versatile.
“I think I'm a pocket passer until it's time to be a dual threat,” he said. “I feel like wherever I go, they're gonna find the right way to fit me in there. ... I'm talking about getting to know the coaches, want to know how they're going to use me, you know, what kind offense they are going to run in the future and stuff like that.”
Wasel’s game makes a lot of sense when you factor in what quarterbacks he likes to take after.
“I'm a huge Baker Mayfield fan obviously, grew up watching him,” he said, adding he especially loves “the way he resets his feet and the way he leads his team.”
He also mentioned Aaron Rodgers, singling out “how fast he can throw with the propulsion, and his wrist action is different level.”
Wasel also said he pays close attention to Tom Brady and the way he prepares for the mental aspect of the game.
A busy summer should lead to a productive fall again for Choctaw, as Wasel is helping lead the charge for a Yellow Jacket renaissance with his teammates.
“It's great, especially because we grow up together,” he said. “We're kind of the same age, you obviously have that connection, but obviously with us being so young, that gives us so much time. That gives us time to, you know, just get better and learn.”