After confirming that Ronnell Lewis would be academically ineligible for Oklahoma’s bowl game, head coach Bob Stoops was quoted as saying it might be in Lewis’ “best interest to go on to the NFL.”
Consider the sage advice heeded, Coach Stoops.
In a pair of statements, the defensive end and his now-former head coach acknowledged Lewis’ decision to best serve his football interests and enter the April NFL draft.
“After meeting with my family and coaches and gathering input from various resources, including the NFL, I’ve carefully weighed my options and have decided to forego my senior year at OU and enter the 2012 NFL Draft,” Lewis’ statement read. “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.
“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!”
“Ronnell leaves with our best wishes,” 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 started 14 of the 30 games in which he played the past three years with the Sooners, and was credited with 10 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. The coaches named Lewis to the first-team All-Big 12 team following the 2011 season.