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OU football notes: Ronnell Lewis' eligibility up in the air

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: August 6, 2011

"He's all over clips we show our defense from 2008, 2009 and last year, so we're constantly reminded of him," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "There is no quote, unquote plan of how to handle the situation outside of being openly supportive, leaning on each other, helping each other cope."

Teammates are doing several things in memory of Box.

Travis Lewis places Box's helmet at his warm-up position.

Some teammates pray before practice.

Quarterback Landry Jones will contact Box's parents to see how they feel about him continuing to wear No. 12, the number Box wore.


One highlight on Media Day was wide receiver Kenny Stills' Mohawk. What makes his version unique is Stills' thick brown hair down the middle is complemented by a dyed blonde tail.

"Someone dared me to do it," Stills said. "I'm big on controversy. I love proving people wrong. A lot of people didn't think I'd even be here, and I'm here. I'm fueled by people telling me I can't do something."

Said guard Gabe Ikard: " If he's catching touchdowns, I don't care what his hair looks like."

How long will Stills wear his new style?

"When people leave it alone and forget that it's here, it will be gone," Stills said.


Starting Sunday, practice will be moved back to 9:45 a.m. Meetings will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m.

Saturday's high was 109, but the Sooners haven't had any heat issues. They've benefitted from morning practices.

"It's really helped the players," Stoops said. "They're staying more fresh and healthy."


Meet the Sooners Day was held on a Saturday because players were still in summer class last week. Because of an expected high turnout, autographs were limited to children age 14 and under.

"We probably took care of 10 times more children than we would have if we did it the other way. That was positive," Stoops said. "And we had the children out of the heat under the stadium."


Kenny Stills (strained hamstring) is the only player who has suffered an injury the first three days. ... Saturday's session was the first practice in pads... Stoops said he's encouraged by wide receiver Jaz Reynolds' improvement in the spring and early in camp. ... Stoops said he's excited watching middle linebacker Tom Wort, "a night and day" difference from a year ago.