With Oklahoma State spring practice over for more than a week, coaches out recruiting and players about to take a short break before returning for summer workouts, it’s a good time to reevaluate changes to the Cowboys’ roster.
Backup linebacker Nico Ornelas has left the team for personal reasons, a school spokesman confirmed earlier this week. At this point, he is the only scholarship player no longer on the roster post-spring. Ornelas was not listed on OSU’s spring finale official roster.
Ornelas, who arrived in Stillwater as a three-star prospect, earned immediate playing time on special teams as a true freshman in 2011. He then played in all 13 games in 2012, recording 18 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.
OSU still returns plenty of depth at linebacker, anchored by returning starters Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. Ryan Simmons is also projected to start on the weak side, while Joe Mitchell (SLB), Seth Jacobs (SLB), DeMarcus Sherod (MLB) and Kris Catlin (WLB) are the listed backups on the post-spring depth chart. Redshirt freshman Jeremiah Tshimanga has been moved to defensive end.
Ornelas’ departure likely won’t be the only one before fall camp begins. That’s just part of the college football offseason.
Last year, receiver Kevin Johnson, defensive lineman Joe Okafor and defensive lineman Diamonte Wheeler transferred. Running back Herschel Sims and offensive lineman Michael Bowie were dismissed for violating team rules. Incoming freshman offensive lineman Greg Brantley left before fall camp began for personal reasons.