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Oklahoma football notebook: Gabe Ikard says offensive line 'all a little heavier'

For the first time in his career, Sooners center Gabe Ikard is over the 300-pound mark. He said the added weight was thanks to new offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and Tiffany Byrd, director of sports nutrition.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: July 26, 2013

/articleid/3866411/1/pictures/2169192">Photo - COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Offensive lineman Gabe Ikard participates in Sooner spring football drills at University of Oklahoma (OU) on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Offensive lineman Gabe Ikard participates in Sooner spring football drills at University of Oklahoma (OU) on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman


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.”


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.


Oklahoma has hired Chad Walker to its football staff as a defensive quality control assistant, according to a 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.

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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