Oklahoma has confirmed that redshirt junior linebacker Tom Wort will declare for the 2013 NFL Draft as first reported by Jake Trotter of ESPN's Sooner Nation.
Oklahoma's most experienced returning linebacker was perhaps the Sooners player most affected by the departure of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables to Clemson prior to the 2012 season. He reportedly clashed with new linebackers coach Tim Kish after his role changed from chasing down ball-carriers to occupying blockers in new defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' scheme.
Wort started 33 of 37 games in his three seasons with the Sooners, but his 52 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2012 were career lows.
Wort was outspoken in late September when he said the Sooners were not physical enough in practices leading up to their 24-19 home loss to Kansas State.
“We definitely need to be more physical in practice,” Wort said. “That’s one of the differences I’ve seen this year. We need to be more physical against the scouts.
“We’re kinda being nice to those guys. That’s something that hasn’t been that way since I’ve been here. I don’t know why it’s changed.”
Wort reportedly considered transferring to another school, but opted for the draft.
Juniors have until Jan. 15 to retain their NCAA eligibility if they have not hired an agent.
“We wish Tom the very best as he concludes his time at the University of Oklahoma,” Stoops said in a statement. “Tom has earned his degree and has informed me that he plans to declare for the NFL Draft.”