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OU football recruiting: D.J. Ward waiting for NCAA clearance, adapting to college life

D.J. Ward, who returned to Southmoore for a signing ceremony Wednesday, has been enrolled at OU since last month but is waiting on the NCAA to clear his paperwork so that he can start working out with the team.
by Ryan Aber Published: February 6, 2013

D.J. Ward has felt like his football career has been in administrative limbo for nearly six months.

First, it was the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

Now, it's the NCAA.

Ward, who had to sit out his senior season following an OSSAA ruling, is still waiting on clearance to join his new team at Oklahoma.

Ward was one of 24 Sooner signees announced Wednesday and one of four who are already on campus. The Sooners entered the day with 23 commitments and picked up cornerback L.J. Moore late in the day.

Ward, the former Lawton star who graduated from Southmoore in December, has been enrolled at OU since last month but is waiting on the NCAA to clear his paperwork so that he can start working out with the team.

“I just want to play football again,” Ward said Wednesday as he came back to Southmoore for a signing ceremony.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he hoped Ward would be cleared soon so he could start to make up for his lost senior season.

“Hopefully, if the NCAA will find time to go through his records and get him cleared, by the time he's on the field, hopefully he'll make that up in spring ball,” Stoops said.

The past year hasn't been easy on Ward.

The family decided to move to the Oklahoma City area late in the summer, and Ward initially enrolled at Douglass.

Because the family started off living in the Southmoore district, he had to file for a hardship waiver with the OSSAA. That waiver was approved, but when the family decided to stay in the Southmoore district and transfer Ward to the school closest to his home, the subsequent waiver was denied.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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