Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE
I have confirmed through a source that OU LB Tom Wort will in fact declare for the NFL Draft— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 9, 2013
There have been whispers virtually all season long that Oklahoma linebacker Tom Wort wasn't very happy. Now we know just how unhappy. The Sooners junior linebacker is reportedly foregoing his senior season to declare for the NFL draft according to Jake Trotter of ESPN's Sooner Nation.
The reason for Wort's unhappiness stemmed mainly from Oklahoma's transition to a more gap responsible defensive scheme that really did not play to Wort's strengths as a player, or any of OU's linebackers for that matter. Whereas he was previously allowed to roam the middle of the field and use his athleticism to make tackles, the new system required him to occupy blocks and give the defenders behind him opportunity to make plays.
While some OU fans may scoff at this news as not that big of a loss, Wort was a guy who made plays for this defense during his three years on the field and at a minimum was Oklahoma's most experienced returning linebacker.
This news coupled with the loss earlier this week of 2013 verbal commitment Jordan Mastrogiovanni leaves Oklahoma frantically searching for someone besides Frank Shannon to play middle linebacker next season. Maybe they can move Rashod Favors back to linebacker, his original position, or maybe P.L. Lindley can be that guy? There aren't exactly a lot of candidates either on the current roster or currently committed in this 2013 recruiting class.
All this for an Oklahoma defense that already had a number of issues heading into 2013 and has now added another significant question mark.
UPDATE: Bob Stoops has confirmed Trotter's report.