Oklahoma State backup linebacker Nico Ornelas leaves team

Oklahoma State backup linebacker Nico Ornelas leaves team

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]klahoma State backup linebacker Nico Ornelas has left the team for personal reasons.

Ornelas, a junior from North Richland Hills, Texas, was not listed on Oklahoma State’s final spring roster, and a school spokesman confirmed earlier this week that he had left the program, according to The Oklahoman.

A three-star recruit by Rivals.com in 2011, Ornelas earned immediate playing time on special teams as a true freshman. In 2012, he played in all 13 games and recorded 18 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

With two returning starters and ample depth, Ornelas was not expected to crack the Cowboys’ two-deep at linebacker.

Seniors Shaun Lewis (SLB) and Caleb Lavey (MLB) are back, while rising sophomore Ryan Simmons (WLB) is expected to join them in the starting rotation. Simmons, who led the freshman class with 23 tackles while backing up Lavey in the middle last season, was a bright spot this spring.

Joe Mitchell (SLB), Seth Jacobs (SLB), DeMarcus Sherod (MLB) and Kris Catlin (WLB) were the backups listed on the post-spring depth chart.

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