Oklahoma senior center Gabe Ikard landed on ESPN.com's preseason All-America team, Ikard's second such honor this preseason.
The former Bishop McGuinness standout was also on Sports Illustrated's preseason All-America team, which was released earlier this month.
Ikard has started 37 career games at both guard and center over his Sooners career. This season, he could possibly work at guard again if needed because Oklahoma also has sophomore Ty Darlington, who played well in limited action at center last season as a true freshman.
IRWIN LIKES ONE OFFENSIVE LINE COACH
Oklahoma senior right guard Bronson Irwin likes a lot about Bill Bedenbaugh, his new position coach.
Irwin likes Bedenbaugh's intensity and emphasis on toughness, but as much as anything, Irwin likes that he's the Sooners' only offensive line coach.
Previously, OU split the offensive line between James Patton, who coached guards and centers, and Bruce Kittle, who coached tackles and tight ends.
“It's different; I like it better,” Irwin said. “Having the whole group in the same meeting room all the time, I think, is very beneficial compared to being split up part-time. It's just more of a unit feel, more established as one group of five guys.”
OU coach Bob Stoops, on the other hand, said he didn't think having two offensive line coaches was necessarily a problem.
“They were a great cohesive group a year ago,” Stoops said. “They really had a great camaraderie amongst them for several years so I don't feel like that's an issue.”
LYNN: POSITION CHANGES HAVE HELPED
Senior safety Gabe Lynn has now played three positions throughout his Sooners career.
The former Jenks standout played cornerback the first two seasons, then started at nickelback in 2012 and is now working as Oklahoma's starting free safety through fall camp.
“I look at it as … playing corner, nickel and now free safety, I know what everybody is doing from the secondary to the linebacker to the D-line,” Lynn said. “It's just helped me and my understanding of football. My football knowledge has definitely grown.”
Asked where he's most comfortable, Lynn said, “I liked nickel last year, but I think this safety position is the best for me right now.”
Lynn and junior Quentin Hayes are the Sooners' current safety starters, but are being pushed by true freshmen Hatari Byrd and Ahmad Thomas.
Thomas enrolled early and went through spring practices.
“They are all learning a lot of stuff,” Lynn said. “Hatari and all those freshmen DBs.
“Ahmad, he was here a little earlier, but all of those guys are picking it up pretty fast.”
BOULWARE IMPRESSED BY OU'S ACADEMICS
First-year Oklahoma assistant Jay Boulware arrived in February to become the Sooners' special teams coordinator and tight ends coach.
The former Texas player, who has worked on coaching staffs at Arizona, Stanford, Utah, Iowa State and Auburn, was asked recently if there have been any surprises — good or bad — since taking his current post in Norman.
“What surprises me is how good a job our academic department does with our young men,” Boulware said. “Our kids are well-instructed, and they do a good job academically. I didn't realize how much Bob has put a big emphasis on academics here.”
Boulware, 40, was one of Stoops' three new hires to his coaching staff, along with Bedenbaugh and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery.