But Lewis has already begun grooming his replacement at weak-side linebacker: true freshman Corey Nelson, whom Lewis couldn’t stop praising Friday:
“He is an athlete. He’s really picking up the defense. He’s like I was after my sophomore year, that’s how fast he has picked up the defense. He’s gonna be a great replacement. He’ll be on the field this year in special teams.”
Nelson could prove to be one of the top gets from a class of 2010 that appears to be loaded with promising talent. Remember, Nelson was a longtime commitment to Texas A&M, but in the days before Signing Day, changed his mind and switched to the Sooners.
“You better watch out for this guy,” Lewis said. “He’s going to be better than me.
“I’m looking for great things from him.”
* Bob Stoops announced after practice that DE Justin Chaisson has withdrawn from school and that Matt Mooreland will not return, due to academic issues that won’t be resolved in time for the season.
“He’s back in Las Vegas,” Stoops said of Chaisson. “Just doesn’t want to do it anymore.”
Chaisson was one of the top commitments in the recruiting class of 2009, but encountered some personal problems off the field.
Moreland has been OU’s kickoff specialist the last two years.
* WR Kenny Stills is just about over a groin pull that has sidelined him for a week. Stills is looking to lock down a starting spot.
* LB Ronnell Lewis missed Thursday’s scrimmage. Stoops said he had to have a tooth taken out. No, it wasn’t from hitting someone too hard. “Too much candy, probably,” Stoops said.
* True freshman CB Aaron Colvin continues to draw praise.
“We call him slick,” said senior corner/safety Jonathan Nelson. “He’s not a guy who gets his head down. Very mature for his age. I guarantee he’s going to have a great career here.”
Colvin, a grad of Owasso, is currently on the two-deep at CB. Jenks native Gabe Lynn is the other corner backup.
* Stoops singled out walk-on Michael Hunnicutt as someone who’s made a move in the four-pronged competition at place-kicker. So has fellow walk-on Bryce Easley.
“Bryce Easley has gotten a ton better,” Stoops said. “Patrick (O’Hara) and Jimmy (Stevens) are doing an OK job.”
The competition continues…
* LB Austin Box was running with the first team ahead of Tom Wort before injuring his back.
“He was one of the best linebackers,” Travis Lewis said. “He was flying around. He had been saying his back was hurting, but we all have bumps and bruises. Wasn’t til that night after the scrimmage, his leg went numb. Losing him hurts. But that’s part of football.”
* Center Ben Habern got overheated at practice earlier this week, but is fine and back working.
* DT Adrian Taylor appears to be still a month away from contributing. Taylor has yet to participate in any contact drills, as he returns from a broken ankle. Jamarkus McFarland, Casey Walker, Stacy McGee and Daniel Noble continue to fight for playing time at the two vacant DT spots.