OU football notebook: Ronnell Lewis ineligible for bowl game
Academics have likely ended the defensive end's career at Oklahoma. Former Dewar High star projected to go in first round of NFL Draft.
Sidelined for the bowl game due to academics, junior defensive end Ronnell Lewis' career at Oklahoma is likely over.
“I don't want to come out and speak for him, but we've talked and I feel it's in his best interest to do that, to go ahead and go on to the NFL,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said Monday. “I guess it hasn't been formalized yet, but we expect that to happen and I'm all for it.
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“He needs to do that. We're hopeful that will all go the right way.”
Lewis was in academic limbo throughout preseason camp, only gaining clearance to play the week of the Sept. 3 opener against Tulsa. He went on to excel, making 59 tackles – 13 for a loss, 5½ of which were sacks. Lewis and senior Frank Alexander teamed up to be two of the more dominant defensive linemen in the Big 12, if not the top pair.
Lewis sprained a knee ligament in the Nov. 19 Baylor game and was, at that time, expected to miss the final two regular-season games, against Iowa State and at Oklahoma State.
Stoops said after the Bedlam game, though, that Lewis had been medically cleared. But he wasn't on the trip due to academic restrictions. The feeling coming out of that game was that Lewis would not play again, though he had been recently tweeting about working on a paper.
Lewis, from Dewar, has been projected by some, including ESPN's Mel Kiper, as a first-round pick in the 2012 draft. Those close to Lewis said more than a month ago that he was leaning toward going pro.
“He's done a great job,” Stoops said. “(He is) a very tough, physical, hard-playing guy that really set a standard for toughness in how he played the special teams game and defense. So we're proud of him and excited for his future.”
REYNOLDS' FOOTBALL FUTURE UP IN THE AIR?
Sophomore receiver Jaz Reynolds spent a week in the hospital after suffering a damaged kidney during the Oklahoma State game.
He will not play in the bowl game, the school said last week, but his future beyond that isn't certain, either.
“The plan from here, there's a couple of options,” Stoops said. “I'm not going to cover them all, but they'll, as a family, decide what they're going to do.
“But he is expected to be able to play next year.”
Reynolds emerged as a third threat for the Sooners, beyond Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills. When the first two targets were banged-up, Reynolds came on to help the offense.
He'll finish the season with 41 catches for 715 yards and five touchdowns.