OU football notes: Ronnell Lewis' eligibility up in the air

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: August 6, 2011

Defensive end Ronnell Lewis is practicing with the first team defense, but the former Dewar High star said he should find out this week whether he'll be academically eligible. Summer classes concluded Friday.

BACKFIELD COMPETITION HEATS UP

Running back is the high profile battle during fall camp. The front runners are sophomores Roy Finch and Brennan Clay, who gained experience last season.

"Those guys will be there. And Jonathan Miller has really been impressive," said coach Bob Stoops. "He had a great day today. He looks really good along with Dominique Whaley and Brandon Williams. We'll see where it goes.

"We can use three guys for sure to keep them fresh. They give you a different change of pace. Obviously, if a guy is hot leave him in there. But even when they've been hot, that means they've been on a little bit of a tear and need a blow. We'll use all those guys."

FLEMING BIGGER, STRONGER

Cornerback Jamell Fleming, second in the nation in passes broken up last season, missed spring drills due to academic issues but returned this summer.

"He looks great," Stoops said. "He still has that great speed that he's always had. He's added a few pounds. He looks strong. We anticipate him continuing to do well."

JOHNSON ADAPTING WELL

Stoops said offensive tackles Darryl Williams and Lane Johnson are playing well early in camp. Johnson, 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, moved from defense to offense last spring.

"That kid is unbelievably athletic," Ikard said. "He definitely runs under 4.8 (in the 40-yard dash). He can fly and has a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump. His numbers are ridiculous. He's like a super human person.

"Now he's getting everything figured out on the field. He's going to be rotating, maybe even starting. He's done a great job doing what he needs to do strength-wise, size-wise to get on the field."

MISSING AUSTIN BOX

Many players were asked at Media Day how they're dealing with linebacker Austin Box's death.

Box died accidentally in May from a toxic mix of painkillers.

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