NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops spent Monday morning at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, hitting the links with assistant coaches, boosters and media members.
Despite the excruciating heat, Stoops was jovial after the scramble. He thanked those in attendance, handed out awards to the day’s top golfers and spoke of his excitement as the calendar nears August and the start of preseason practices.
Then, beginning just after the crowd departed, bad news repeatedly and forcefully slammed the OU football program and its fans from the afternoon into the night.
* Two junior-college transfers couldn’t get academically eligible in time for the season.
* A promising career was pronounced finished before it could flourish.
* And the top-rated prospect in OU’s class of 2013 reneged on his March pledge.
Will Latu, an offensive lineman transferring from College of the Canyons in California, wasn’t able to academically qualify at OU and won’t join the Sooners, the Rivals network SoonerScoop.com reported.
Wide receiver Courtney Gardner, of Sierra College in California, also won’t make it, telling ESPN.com that he failed to complete an English class in time to enroll at OU for the fall. He said he’ll use his redshirt season, enroll at OU in January and have two years of eligibility as a Sooner.
Then news broke that redshirt freshman Dylan Dismuke, a 6-foot-7, 299-pound offensive lineman from Duncan, will never suit up for the Sooners again. Dismuke suffered what would become a career-ending knee injury last December, he confirmed to The Oklahoman.
Dismuke went through spring workouts and even played in the spring game, but it was determined this summer that Dismuke’s knee will never be able to hold up through grueling workouts and games. He’ll be placed on medical hardship, allowing him to keep his scholarship.
And, just when it felt like the Sooners might get to Tuesday spared from anything else going wrong, their top 2013 recruiting prospect changed his mind.
Greg Bryant, a four-star running back from Delray Beach, Fla., who committed to OU in late March, decommitted, his father told Rivals.com on Monday just before 10 p.m. central time.
Bryant (5-foot-11, 197 pounds) holds scholarship offers from nearly 30 NCAA Division I schools. His decommitment leaves the Sooners with 11 players committed for their class of 2013, including four-star running back Keith Ford, from Cypress, Texas.