For the first time in his career, Sooners center Gabe Ikard is over the 300-pound mark.
Tuesday, before traveling to Big 12 Media Days in Dallas, Ikard weighed in at 304.
He said the added weight was thanks to new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and Tiffany Byrd, director of sports nutrition.
“We're all a little heavier than we were last year but we might move better than we did last year with the way we've been working,” Ikard said. “We've added some weight because the conference lines are pretty stout.”
In workouts, the line has added a renewed emphasis on weight-room work instead of running.
“I wouldn't say less running but we didn't run the same stuff as the skill guys,” Ikard said. “When we came up against some of the bigger lines last year, we weren't really pleased with the way we played so we made it a point of emphasis this offseason to get in the weight room a little fresher and be able to lift a little more.”
Byrd, who joined the athletic department in the spring, has changed the way the team eats.
“She's spent a whole lot of money giving us bars that we can eat throughout the day, sandwiches, protein shakes and all kinds of stuff that we have available to us,” Ikard said. “We've got options.”
HEADINGTON HALL OPENS SUNDAY
Oklahoma's new $75-million, state-of-the-art student housing facility opens its doors for new residents to move in Sunday.
The five-story, 230,000-square-foot Headington Hall will house 380 students.
Former OU stars Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson donated $500,000 each to the new building.
A new student-athlete dining facility inside Headington Hall has been named the “Sam Bradford Training Table,” and plans are being finalized for Peterson's name to be associated with the academic area and study lounge.
“We wanted to create a living and learning experience,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “We wanted our students and student-athletes to have the greatest possible start to their career from a living perspective.
“We really tried to be creative and innovative for the residents themselves, the way the building is set up and functions.”
STOOPS: QB BATTLE COULD LINGER INTO SEASON
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said earlier this week at Big 12 Media Days that “it's always possible” for a quarterback battle to linger into the regular season.
Junior Blake Bell, sophomore Kendal Thompson and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight are competing to replace Landry Jones as the Sooners' starter. Bell appears to have the advantage entering fall camp, but Stoops gave no timetable for naming a starter.
Still, Stoops said the new quarterback — whoever it ends up being — will have a big advantage because of all the experience around him on the offense.
“Unlike in 2005, when we had a new quarterback, everyone else around him was inexperienced,” Stoops said. “A whole new offensive line, a bunch of new receivers. I knew it was going to be more difficult. I feel, and we'll see how it works, but I feel whoever comes in this year will have a bunch of experience around him. A very experienced offensive line, three senior running backs, a bunch of receivers that have all played. It should help and support him in a better way.”
COLVIN PRAISES CORTEZ JOHNSON
Aaron Colvin is about the only starter in the Sooners' secondary without question marks about his effectiveness entering the season.
But earlier this week at Big 12 Media Days, Colvin said the secondary would be solid.
Colvin cited the play of Arizona transfer Cortez Johnson as one reason the unit would be better than expected.
“Cortez is a big, physical corner,” Colvin said. “He's going to be one of those guys that if he gets his hands on you, it's pretty much over with.
“I'm excited to see what he does this year. I'm excited to see him go out there and compete and use his physical abilities to his advantage.”
Johnson (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) had 16 tackles in eight games as a freshman for the Wildcats before transferring to the Sooners before last season. Johnson started two games for Arizona.
REPORT: SOONERS ADD WALKER TO STAFF
Oklahoma has hired Chad Walker to its football staff as a defensive quality control assistant, according to a CoachingSearch.com report.
Walker has spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator at Mississippi College. Before that, he spent time with current Alabama coach Nick Saban, serving as a quality control coach on the 2003 LSU national-title team, and working in the same capacity on Saban's Miami Dolphins staff.