Sooners junior linebacker Lofton declares for draft

Updated: January 14, 2008, 6:39 PM ET
Associated Press

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton, the Sooners' leading tackler this year, said Monday he has decided to enter the NFL draft.

Lofton is the team's second junior to declare for the draft this year, joining receiver Malcolm Kelly, who made a similar announcement last Thursday.

"Curtis made a lot of big plays during his time here," OU head coach Bob Stoops said. "We wish him all the best in the NFL."

Lofton said he reached the decision Sunday.

"I'll definitely miss my coaches and teammates," he said. "I came in with my class three years ago and those guys are like brothers to me. And I'll miss playing in front of those 85,000 fans.

"It starts with great coaches and a system that from day one develops you as a person and player. Once you get the opportunity to play, you're ready. It's one of the best coaching staffs in the nation."

The Kingfisher product had 157 tackles in 2007, sixth-best total in school history.

He also established a school record with nine double-digit tackle games, and had a career-high 18 tackles in the first meeting with Missouri this season.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press