University of Oklahoma junior defensive end Ronnell Lewis has chosen to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft.
“My time at OU has produced many fond memories and I hope to keep close ties with my friends, teammates, coaches, football staff and everyone at OU who has helped me along the way.,” Lewis said in a statement.
“I’d like to personally thank the University of Oklahoma and Coach Stoops for giving me the opportunity to be a Sooner and play on Saturdays in front of the best fans in the country. Without the support of my coaches, my family and so many others, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ll definitely miss my time in Norman, but I’m looking forward to what the future holds. Boomer Sooner!”
Lewis, a Dewar, Okla. native, recorded 5.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in ten games this season. Lewis also recorded 60 total tackles, half of his 119 career total.
He was injured against Baylor on Nov. 19 and missed the last three games of the season. Lewis missed the Oklahoma State and Iowa games because he was declared academically ineligible for missing too much class.
Lewis first was recognized on the field as a freshman in 2009, where his huge hits on special teams earned him the nickname, “The Hammer.”
“Ronnell leaves with our best wishes,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “He managed several challenges while playing here, but always worked hard and gave us his very best effort. He has the skill to be a successful NFL player and we feel he’ll do well there. As with any of our players who reach for the top level, he won’t have any bigger fans than those of us at OU.”
Lewis has been in the top 20 of Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board since September and has a great chance of being a first round draft pick in April.