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Oklahoma football: Corey Nelson says improved defensive line will help linebackers

by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: August 13, 2013

Oklahoma's defensive line is the thinnest group to this point, though the Sooners hope to get a boost there soon with the addition of junior-college defensive tackle Quincy Russell.

Coach Bob Stoops remained confident Tuesday that Russell would soon join the team.

Even without Russell in camp and with freshman defensive end D.J. Ward out with a spleen problem, linebacker Corey Nelson said he's seen improvements from the group.

“Coach (Jerry) Montgomery is an awesome coach and one of the best coaches that I've ever been around and seen,” Nelson said of the Sooners' new defensive line coach. “He just coaches those guys up so well to where they do their job. They get it done. What they're doing so far is excellent.”

That will have a big impact on the linebackers, a group that saw their role in the defense dwindle as last season went on.

“With those guys being able to keep the offensive line off of us, it allows us just to make plays,” Nelson said.

IKARD BACK IN ACTION

Senior center Gabe Ikard had been held out of recent practices after reportedly suffering a concussion, but Stoops said he was back in at least limited action.

“He's there,” Stoops said. “He's doing some stuff.”

Ikard missed the Baylor game last season after suffering a concussion, and freshman Ty Darlington started in his place.

Due to injury, Ikard shifted over to guard for the Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M, with Darlington again starting at center.

IRWIN LIKING THE MOBILE QB

The Sooners aren't closer, publicly at least, to naming a starting quarterback, but whoever the pick is will be more mobile than any regular Sooners quarterback for some time.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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