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.
Senior offensive lineman Bronson Irwin said it was a welcome change.
“I think the biggest thing is just, going through practice, you notice if the protection's not 100 percent — we always want to have great pass protection — but you see those guys, all the sudden they're six yards down the field running,” Irwin said. “It's not something that we've really been used to in the past, and I think it's something that we've kind of enjoyed.”
FORMER SOONER DONATES $30K TO HIGH SCHOOL
Former Sooner tight end Jermaine Gresham recently donated $30,000 to his alma mater, Ardmore High School, to pay for new uniforms.
Gresham, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, starred for the Tigers from 2003-05, racking up 1,205 yards and 24 touchdowns on 70 catches as a senior.
In his three years at Oklahoma, Gresham set a school record for tight ends with 1,627 receiving yards.
Gresham is entering his fourth year in the NFL, all with Cincinnati.
WHO'S THE BEST?
Senior safety Gabe Lynn said Tuesday that there was some competition among the three players from Jenks on the team about who is the best former Trojan.
In addition to Lynn, redshirt freshman running back Alex Ross and freshman wide receiver Jordan Smallwood are on the roster.
Lynn was the only Jenks player on the Sooners' roster when he arrived.
“It's fun,” Lynn said of having Ross and Smallwood around. “We had a little thing in here yesterday and I think it was Jordan Smallwood saying he was the best to come out of Jenks.
“There was a little competition there.”
The Sooners are hot after another Jenks player, defensive back Steven Parker, who is No. 1 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top recruits for 2014.
Lynn said the Sooners were working hard on Parker.
“Definitely,” he said. “We're trying to get him up here.”