Oklahoma Sooners commitment D.J. Ward, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end, said on Twitter Wednesday night that he won’t be playing football this season.
“So… I’m not playing football this year,” Ward tweeted late Wednesday evening. “(And) I’m thinking about college.”
When asked by a Twitter follower if he still planned to attend OU next year, Ward responded “maybe.”
Rated as the No. 1 recruit in the 2013 recruiting class, Ward has been mired in an eligibility controversy since moving from Lawton to Oklahoma City in July. Ward’s father was hired by the Army to fill a Junior ROTC position at Douglass and the family moved to the metro area.
Ward was initially declared eligible to play at Douglass, though he lived in the Southmoore school district.
He participated in the All-City Preview scrimmages with the Trojans Aug. 24-25, but enrolled at Southmoore the next week. He has not been eligible to play at Southmoore in the first two weeks of the season, waiting to hear a ruling on his hardship waiver request, which is required for any athlete changing schools for a second time in their high school career, regardless of residence.
OSSAA officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday night, but it is possible Ward’s hardship waiver was denied by the staff. If so, he would have the possibility to appeal the decision to the OSSAA Board of Directors as early as their October meeting.
Ward maintained all along that he would have preferred to stay at Lawton, where he had attended since kindergarten, but his parents chose to move him to Oklahoma City. His high school eligibility isn’t expected to impact his college future.
“I’m tired of this,” Ward tweeted. “I didn’t ask for it.
“I’m fine still on track to do big things.”