Sooners' Ronnell Lewis eligible

Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis has been declared eligible for the 2011 season, university officials confirmed Thursday.

Lewis, a junior, had been in academic limbo, but remained in practice during fall camp and the preseason. He remained on the depth chart and was working with the Sooners' first unit, but Oklahoma officials had been unable to confirm his NCAA eligibility throughout the preseason.

The 6-foot-2, 244-pound native of Dewar, Okla., has five starts in two seasons for the Sooners, and made 37 tackles with 3½ sacks in 2010. He's expected to start at Oklahoma's hybrid linebacker/stand-up defensive end position that All-American Jeremy Beal had occupied the past three seasons.

David Ubben covers the Big 12 for ESPN.com.