Why Rodney Fields Jr. signing with OSU realizes a dream of his and his father

Why Rodney Fields Jr. signing with OSU realizes a dream of his and his father

The Del City running back doesn’t remember a ton about his dad, but he knows he was a huge Oklahoma State Cowboys fan.

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

| Dec 18, 2023, 10:41am CST

Jenni Carlson

By Jenni Carlson

Dec 18, 2023, 10:41am CST

DEL CITY — Rodney Fields Jr. doesn’t have a ton of memories of his dad.

But Fields remembers his dad’s white Lincoln Town Car. It was adorned with upwards of a hundred OSU decals and stickers. All over the outside. Even on the dashboard inside.

His dad was a huge Cowboy fan.

Now, Fields will soon be a Cowboy.

“It is crazy,” said Fields, a running back who just finished a standout senior season at Del City High School. “When I was little, I wasn’t thinking about going to college, and now, I’m here.”

As Early Signing Day approaches, lots of football players will be taking another step toward living out their dreams of playing college football. But for Fields, he won’t just be achieving a goal. Signing with OSU and becoming a Cowboy is like living out the dream scenario of the dream.

Fields was so sure he wanted to be a Cowboy after OSU offered him a scholarship last January that he shut down his recruitment then and there.

He hasn’t wavered on that, even as teammates at Del City and friends on other teams took official visits and piled up offers.

Fields was never even tempted to take any more official visits. 

“Not really,” he said. “I know other people like it because it’s cool experiences. I just wasn’t into it.”

Because he was so into OSU.

That started with his father. Rodney Fields Sr. never played football or attended OSU, but in the early 2000s when many folks in the state leaned into OU’s success, the elder Fields was all about the orange and black.

He proudly drove his Town Car with all the OSU decals on it around Wright City, the small town in the far southeastern corner of Oklahoma where the Fieldses lived. 

Fields Sr. probably watched Cowboy games, maybe even wore OSU gear, but Fields Jr. doesn’t remember such things.

Fields Sr. was shot and killed in 2010.

His son was barely old enough to be in school, so memories of his dad are sparse. But he knew how much his dad loved OSU because of that Town Car; Fields Sr. wouldn’t have covered his vehicle with decals of something he didn’t really, truly love.

So when OSU wanted Fields Jr. to come for an official visit last January, of course, he said yes.

He had just finished a breakout junior season at Southeast High School, rushing for over 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had 480 yards receiving and five touchdown receptions. Recruiters were starting to take notice of his pinball style — he’s a 5-foot-9, 188-pound mighty mite who squats nearly 500 pounds — and his breakaway speed.

Fields runs a sub-4.4 40-yard dash.

OSU was his first official visit, and the day after, Fields got a phone call from Cowboy running backs coach John Wozniak offering a scholarship.

Fields stayed calm on the phone, but as soon as he hung up, he ran out of his bedroom to find his mom, Chiquita Richards. When he found her in the kitchen and delivered the news, she was stunned.

“Are you sure?” she asked him. “Is that what they really said?”

He assured her that it was — “She was happy,” Fields said of his mom. “Then she called everybody and told ‘em” — and a week or so later, he called back Wozniak to accept the offer.

Fields never went on another official visit.

OSU was his first and last. 

Even after he transferred to Del City and started racking up yards for the highly-ranked Eagles, he wasn’t swayed by any other colleges. Del City football coach Robert Jones said Fields was so locked into the Cowboys, few other recruiters even tried to make inroads with him.

Jones, who played at OSU in the early 2000s, believes Fields has skills similar to former Cowboy tailback Kendall Hunter. And with OSU’s offensive shift, Jones thinks this is a perfect time to be a tailback in Stillwater.

“Used to be, when they ran the ball, it was more pass to run,” he said. “But they have sort of switched their mentality, more of a run-heavy team.”

Fields is excited about that, of course, and while he likes the scheme and the coaches and the vibe and the academics at OSU, becoming a Cowboy was about something else, too.

A tie to his dad.

A heartstring that’s orange and black.

He marvels at it all, not only getting to play college football but also getting to do so at OSU.

“It’s crazy,” he said.

Share with your crowd
Jenni Carlson is a columnist with the Sellout Crowd network. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniCarlson_OK. Email [email protected].

The latest from Sellout Crowd

  • Dec 28, 2023; San Antonio, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jackson Arnold (10) throws a pass against the Arizona Wildcats at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

    The Georgia roots behind Jackson Arnold’s new uniform number

  • Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Doug Gottlieb on the Fox Sports set on radio row at the Super Bowl 58 media center at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Doug Gottlieb’s passion might be just what OSU basketball needs

  • Feb 25, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) shoots the ball during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

    Chet Holmgren lifts the Thunder to statistically significant win in Houston

  • Fourth-ranked Iowa gave No. 2 Oklahoma State its first loss of the season Sunday afternoon. The 22-9 defeat is the first dual OSU has lost in Gallagher Iba Arena since a loss to Minnesota in 2022. (Mitch Alcala for The Oklahoman/USA Today Network)

    How Iowa’s losses led to Oklahoma State first wrestling defeat

  • Feb 24, 2024; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners guard Javian McCollum (2) shoots the ball over Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Jamyron Keller (14) to win the game in overtime at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

    Javian McCollum’s buzzer-beater downs OSU, hands OU crucial tournament boost