Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, speaking to reporters after practice Thursday, called junior-college defensive tackle signee Quincy Russell a “huge difference maker.”
Russell (6-foot-3, 300 pounds), who is expected to enroll at OU in January, originally signed with Texas out of high school, but was forced to spend two years at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College after failing to qualify academically.
“We're excited about him,” Stoops said.
Punter Jed Barnett, from Laney Community College, also signed with Oklahoma on Wednesday, the opening day of the junior college midterm signing period.
“Jed's a heck of a punter too,” Stoops said. “I love his hang time and he averages over 40, and we're losing Tress (Way).”
Oklahoma's recruiting class, which also added a couple important offensive tackle commitments Wednesday, shot up Rivals.com's national team rankings to No. 10.
There had been concerns about the Sooners' lack of offensive and defensive tackles, but those concerns seem to be alleviated for now.
“They'll be another panic tomorrow — why the sky is falling tomorrow for OU football,” Stoops joked Wednesday. “OK? Someone will dream something up to get all the fans in a tizzy.”
RIPKOWSKI GIVEN SCHOLARSHIP
Stoops presented sophomore fullback Aaron Ripkowski with the Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-On Award at the football team's annual dinner and awards ceremony last Friday.
After the sophomore received his award, Stoops announced his decision to award Ripkowski with a football scholarship.
“I said, ‘Well, he won't be anymore because he won't be able to win it next year, so one of you other guys will have to win it,'” Stoops said Thursday.
Ripkowski, from Dayton, Texas, made his mark on special teams and in the short-yardage “Belldozer” package.
“I didn't know he was gonna announce it at the banquet,” Ripkowski said. “It was a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders.”