NORMAN — Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery stood in the team meeting room addressing reporters when Bob Stoops abruptly walked in with true freshman D.J. Ward.
“Look guys, D.J. Ward’s back practicing in case you were wondering,” Stoops said with a laugh before quickly pulling Ward back out of the room.
The defensive end had his spleen removed early in fall camp. Stoops said then he expected Ward to miss around six weeks, and added that he wasn’t sure if he would redshirt.
Ward was considered the top college football prospect in Oklahoma for the recruiting class of 2013 after his junior season at Lawton High. He transferred to Douglass, then to Southmoore in August of his senior year, and was ruled ineligible by the OSSAA after the second transfer.
Ward (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) enrolled early at OU to go through spring practices, but wasn’t able to participate while the NCAA pored over his high-school transcripts. That was all sorted out by the spring game, though, and he played in it.
Junior Geneo Grissom and sophomore Charles Tapper have started the first three games this season at defensive end.