NORMAN, Oklahoma – A big piece to a potentially big season for the Sooners has just been put in place.
Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis has been declared eligible by the NCAA.
Sources confirmed to News 9's Dean Blevins on Thursday that "The NCAA cleared Lewis because of extenuating circumstances on Lewis' progress toward degree."
OU coach Bob Stoops said he and his staff and team are very happy for Lewis.
"This has been a difficult process and I know he's relieved today," Stoops said. "Now he can fully concentrate on this season and school year."
Lewis was a big contributor for the Sooners in 2010, racking up 37 tackles, five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also took back an interception for 12 yards.
The Sooners were in the dark for some time about whether Lewis passed the required courses over the summer in order to stay eligible for the season.
He continued to practice with the first team in the preseason and will start opposite of fellow defensive end Frank Alexander.
OU opens play on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Norman against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.