— Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he would make an announcement regarding the roster. On Wednesday afternoon, he dropped a bombshell.
All-Big 12 center Ben Habern has decided to end his career due to a neck injury.
“Our coaching staff knows this was a difficult decision for Ben,” Stoops said via a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “Ben has been a consummate leader for our team, both on and off the field. We appreciate the toughness that Ben has displayed, and we wish him the very best as he completes his education at OU.”
Habern was limited to six starts last season due to a broken arm. He missed spring practice after having surgery on his neck for an injury that dated back to high school. Habern started 30 games over his collegiate career, which started in 2009. He was a preseason All-Big 12 selection heading into this season.
Stoops also announced that wide receivers Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks and defensive back Quentin Hayes have been reinstated to the roster. But, as of now, the trio will only be allowed to practice. Stoops said the group remains suspended indefinitely from playing games.
“They are going to miss multiple, multiple games,” he said Wednesday night at the Sooner Caravan stop at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
They, along with wide receiver Kameel Jackson, were “indefinitely suspended” from the team in June. Stoops said Jackson’s suspension will be reviewd at the end of the current academic session, which ends Friday.
Stoops also said junior college transfers Will Latu, an offensive lineman, and Courtney Gardner, a receiver, will not play at OU this season. Stoops hopes Gardner will be able to join the program in January. Gardner needs to obtain his associate’s degree from Sierra Community College in Rocklin, Calif., to become eligible.