OT Matt Beyer forced to give up football

Oklahoma offensive tackle commit Matt Beyer (San Antonio/Reagan) tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that a neck injury has forced him to give up playing football.

Beyer, who is 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, is a four-star prospect who committed to the Sooners in July.

Speculation started Monday following a Beyer tweet Monday morning: “Thank you for all the memories guys! Football has truly been great to me! I love you all! It was just time for me to hang up the pads.”

It was originally believed to be a back injury. Beyer suffered an incomplete fracture of the L5 vertebrae and missed most of the 2011 season.

But Beyer set the record straight with this tweet Wednesday afternoon: “I didn’t quit football. I choose to leave because of a neck injury that I had no control over. The risk out weighed the rewards #hadnochoice.”

Beyer addressed his San Antonio Reagan teammates Monday morning to tell them the news. Following his announcement, individual players spoke to Beyer.

The last one to speak with him was offensive tackle Sterling Korona. A three-star prospect himself, Korona is committed to Duke.

“We’re losing part of our identity,” Korona said. “He was the biggest, but he was also the quietest. He was a silent leader, a leader by example.

“Matt has been out there coaching the younger guys as if nothing is wrong,” Korona said. “He has handled this a lot better than I would. He is still a part of this team in every sense of the word.”

Beyer has not returned phone calls or text messages to comment further on the situation.

OU freshman quarterback Trevor Knight was a driving force in getting Beyer to commit to OU. Since Knight committed to OU in July 2011, he had been trying to get his former teammate to come with him.

In fact, it was Knight who broke the news of Beyer’s commitment. He tweeted it out before Beyer had even told anybody.

The loss of a Beyer is yet another top prospect whose OU career has been cut short by injury before seeing the field. The Sooners suffered the same fate for 2012 tight end signee Laith Harlow. A back injury forced Harlow to quit football although OU has honored his scholarship.

The 2011 class also had a major loss, as a pectoral injury ended the career of tight end Max Stevenson.