NORMAN — Unlike last season, the Sooners return six players with experience on the offensive line.
Junior Ben Habern started each game last season at center, while sophomore Gabe Ikard, a Bishop McGuinness graduate, is expected to start at left guard after playing in every game last season.
Last season, though, the offensive line was a big concern for the Sooners, but it instead helped them win the Big 12 Championship and the Fiesta Bowl.
The 6-foot-4, 292-pound Habern recorded 123 knockdowns last season and was an All-Big 12 honorable mention by The Associated Press. He also started 10 games his freshman season at center before suffering a season-ending injury against Texas Tech.
Ikard, who is now 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds after entering OU as a tight end, started 12 of 14 games last season and was an Academic All-Big 12 first team member behind his 4.0 GPA.
What is your relationship like?
Habern: (Laughs) Gabe's one of my really good friends. Gah, he's out of control. He cracks me up all the time. We always give him a hard time because he came in as a tight end and he was 245 pounds and now he's 295, so he's gained like 50 pounds. We give him a hard time and joke around with him, but we love joking around with each other and give each other a hard time.
Ikard: Very close, since I really didn't know him that well until I switched to the offensive line. We just get along really well. He's a great guy and fun to be around.
Habern likes to cook, does Ikard get involved or just eat the food?