Stoops hopeful for Russell's arrival

It has been a challenge to get defensive tackle Quincy Russell to OU, but it might be over, according to OU coach Bob Stoops.

The question has been asked to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops so many times in the last couple of months, but he sounded a little bit more sure about himself Monday.

When asked about the status of junior college defensive tackle signee Quincy Russell, Stoops didn't say soon this time around. Nope, Stoops said from what he understands, Russell should arrive to campus this week.

The addition of Russell would be a huge boost to OU's interior defensive line. It was a group that didn't make a lot of plays in 2012, and though early, it's looking like the biggest question mark for the 2013 campaign.

Stoops downplayed how far behind Russell would be because of missing the last few months of workouts and the first couple of weeks of camp. He didn't say it would be a seamless transition, but he sounded very confident about the prospects of Russell being able to fit in once he arrives.

As for when he'll show up, Stoops said it's out of his hands and OU's hands. He implied it was about finalizing things with Trinity Valley Community College to make sure Russell is squared away.

Russell signed with OU in December and was originally supposed to arrive on campus in January. It has been one hiccup after another, but the end of the road should be near.

"We're close," Stoops said.

The other lingering question of who will be named starting quarterback is still out there. Stoops didn't name one Monday during media availability.

Ward announcement this week

Stoops said an announcement will be made Tuesday or Wednesday regarding the status of freshman defensive end D.J. Ward.

Ward has not practiced at all and has been out with a spleen issue. No statement has been made about the severity of the issue so the announcement will clear things up as to whether it's a season-ending, career-ending injury or just a minor derailment in Ward's future.

Ward, ranked the top prospect coming out of Oklahoma last year, has not played since his junior season. He was forced to sit out his senior season because of transfer eligibility issues.

Barnett, Steed continue to battle

Stoops dismissed the notion of there being struggles in the punting game, giving praise to both juco signee Jed Barnett and redshirt freshman Jack Steed.

Stoops said in terms of timing, Barnett is a little ahead of Steed because he has more experience. He said he liked the hang time of both guys' kicks. Barnett averaged around 41-42 yards per punt, while Stoops said Steed was around 40-41 yards.

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