The start of spring football is always highly anticipated by college football fans across the country but there may not be a single Oklahoma fan more anxious for the start of basic football practices than the Sooners much-travelled early enrollee D.J. Ward.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound prospect was one of the state's elite players during his sophomore and junior seasons before his high school career hit a snag - a snag that eventually spelled the end of that career.
After spending his first three years of high school at Lawton, Okla. his father accepted an ROTC job at Oklahoma City Douglass high school, a move that was made with surprisingly little concern - in this day and age - about what it would mean to Ward's football career. As the family moved to the school district and Ward filed for an OSSAA hardship so that he would be eligible to play, he began to practice with the Oklahoma 4A powerhouse.
He was held out of Douglass' first scrimmage but was then cleared by the OSSAA and took part in Douglass' second scrimmage a week prior to the start of the season.
And surprisingly enough, that's when things actually got strange.
Ward's family had spent the summer searching for a house and finally found one - but it was in the Southmoore school district. After they moved in the family's hardship waiver had to be refilled as it had been filed under the plan to live in the Douglass school district.
At that point Ward decided he may as well play closer to his parents actual home rather than commuting across town to Douglass. And with that as well as the second waiver he was told by the OSSAA he wouldn't be able to play as a senior.
In a matter of weeks Ward went from planning on another playoff run for the Wolverines to wondering when his next snap of football would come. Many thought it would happen when he went to the Army All-American Bowl in early January - a game he was selected to play in. However, the day never came due to a rule in the game in which only players that played as seniors can play in the game itself.
Well, now that day has finally come as he begins the spring semester as an Oklahoma student, but SoonerScoop.com caught up with him shortly before he began his work as a college student-athlete.
So now that this is all done, can Ward believe what's transpired in the last year?
"At first, it hit me and I was like 'wow, I can't play' and then you just have to deal with it and about two weeks into I said it's all for the better," Ward said.
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