OU linebacker Tom Wort to enter NFL draft

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma linebacker Tom Wort intends to enter the 2013 NFL draft, coach Bob Stoops announced in a statement on Wednesday night.

"We wish Tom the very best as he concludes his time at the University of Oklahoma," Stoops said. "Tom has earned his degree and has informed me that he plans to declare for the NFL Draft."

Wort, who has been a starter at middle linebacker for the Sooners the last three seasons, becomes the third OU underclassmen to enter the draft this week, joining receiver Kenny Stills and safety Tony Jefferson.

But unlike Stills and Jefferson, it’s unclear if Wort will be drafted. After an injury-plagued sophomore season, Wort lost playing time in 2012 to freshman Frank Shannon as the Sooners transitioned schemes under first-year coordinator Mike Stoops.

Wort struggled to adjust to Stoops’ gap-oriented scheme, which funneled tackles to the safeties instead of the linebackers. A year after compiling 71 tackles, Wort finished with just 52 this season.

Wort also considered transferring and playing his final year of college elsewhere.

Since he was not expected to declare, ESPN Scouts Inc. does not have a draft profile or grade for Wort.

It's been a tough week for the linebacker position in Norman. Earlier this week, ESPN 300 linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, who had been committed to OU since June 14, flipped his commitment to Texas A&M.

With Wort gone, the Sooners likely will start Shannon in the middle. Shannon made two starts ahead of Wort this season.

All-Big 12 cornerback Aaron Colvin is the other OU underclassman who is considering a jump to the NFL.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare is Tuesday, Jan. 15.