In what was quickly shaping up to be a total bust of a recruiting weekend, news of the Sooners fourth verbal commitment in the 2013 class quickly put a very positive spin on things. After the threat of severe weather caused many of the high profile recruits originally expected to be in Norman on Saturday to cancel, it was easy to see why OU fans who follow recruiting were disappointed. Thankfully for those OU fans, that changed in the form of the latest addition to the Sooners 2013 class.
Through his own admission, it seemed more like a matter of when than if Lawton defensive end D.J. Ward would commit to the Oklahoma Sooners. Saturday afternoon, at the Sooners 2012 Spring Game, the consensus top player in the state of Oklahoma put an end to the "suspense."
As one would expect, SoonerScoop ($) broke the news of Ward's commitment initially through fellow 2013 commit Matt Dimon and then later through Ward himself.
Oklahoma landing Ward puts an end to a disturbing trend of the state's top player leaving the state of Oklahoma to play elsewhere. The Sooners seemed destined to put an end to that with Ward who has long been open in interviews about how highly he regarded OU. There had been at one point of Ward visiting Texas and Ohio State, but those would appear to be unlikely at this point. Oklahoma offered Ward much earlier than they typically offer recruits and have diligently pursued him ever since. That effort was rewarded Saturday afternoon.
In Ward, the Sooners get a defensive end with a relentless motor who never quits on a play. As you'd expect, opposing teams are constantly running plays away from him and as a result in his film you see him constantly chasing plays down from the backside. He uses his hands and long arms very well to keep blockers off and is adept at getting those long arms up into passing lanes. Doesn't have that elite first step of your traditional pass rusher, but has plenty of speed around the edge to make up for it and he'll pressure quarterbacks at the D-I level. Once he gets into a D-I strength and conditioning program this kid could be a monster.
It's always a good thing to keep the top player/s in-state and with Ward's commitment on Saturday that's exactly what the Sooners have done.
Welcome to Sooner Nation D.J.!
(Just wanted to note that I predicted this in the Spring Game thread. Needed to be said) ;)