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February 7, 2013

Sooners don’t go too far for many recruits

NORMAN — There’s a lot to like about Oklahoma’s 2013 recruiting class. One of the things local fans will like is the in-state flavor. Five of the 24 recruits are from the Sooner State.

Defensive end D.J. Ward (Southmoore) and linebacker Jordan Evans (Norman North) come from the immediate area. The Sooners secured linebacker Dominique Alexander (Tulsa Washington), cornerback Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa East Central) and wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (Jenks) from the Tulsa area.

It marked the most in-state players in an OU class since inking six from the state in 2007.

“We always want to do a great job in our own state. Fortunately through the years, we have,” Stoops said. “We’re always diligent in that the first players we evaluate and continue to evaluate are always in-state players. Not that we’re always right, but we sure are always doing everything we can to watch them, evaluate them, get to know them and get them around us, invite them to campus, invite them to practices, invite them to scrimmages. It’s been a positive and these are all excellent players and some of them are the top players in our state.”

Ward waiting for clearance: Ward is attending classes at OU, but he won’t be able to participate in spring practice next month unless the NCAA clears him. Ward didn’t play football his senior season at Southmoore after the OSSAA ruled he had to sit out after transferring from Douglass High School to Southmoore late in the summer.

“Hopefully, the NCAA will find time to go through his records and we can get him cleared by the time we’re on the field,” Stoops said. “Hopefully, he can make that up in spring ball with being back on the field. I believe he will. He’s still working out hard and looks great, but he’s missed that time on the field.”

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