The Oklahoma Sooners' already bright prospects for 2011 got a big lift Wednesday when star linebacker Travis Lewis announced he's returning for another season in Norman.
Lewis has averaged 120 tackles per year for the Sooners, and, maybe more so than ever before, he showed a knack for making big defensive plays this season. When OU needed a vocal leader on defense to replace standout Gerald McCoy, Lewis filled the role admirably. He served as the team's unofficial spokesman in 2010 and conveyed an infectious sense of swagger.
With seniors such as Adrian Taylor and Jeremy Beal moving on, Lewis' leadership should take on even greater significance for the team before and during the upcoming season.
*Of course, Sooner Nation still awaits the decision of the best wide receiver to ever don the Crimson and Cream. Twitter and OU-centric message boards are abuzz with scuttlebutt that Ryan Broyles has decided to play another year in college.
The Lewis news clearly brings plenty of joy to Sooner hearts everywhere. Broyles' return may be even more imporant for OU, though. Broyles has proven himself to be as productive as any pass catcher in college football. He has outstanding chemistry with quarterback Landry Jones, and he fits well into OU's spread offense.
Lewis' return definitely bolsers OU's case, but Broyles coming back would mean even more for OU's chances of winning the national championship in the coming season.