Oklahoma middle linebacker Tom Wort will wear No. 12 in the season opener Saturday night against Tulsa, coach Bob Stoops announced Friday morning.
Each week a different player on defense will wear No. 12 to honor Box, who died in May. Senior linebacker Travis Lewis and junior quarterback Landry Jones, who also wears No. 12 on the offensive side, will have significant roles which defensive player wears No. 12 each week.
Wort called the Box family last week to make sure it was OK.
“Tom was excited that he's the first one to wear it,” Austin Box's sister Whitney said. “He was so excited to honor Austin. He wanted to make sure it was OK with us. It was really nice."
Wort, a sophomore, normally wears No. 21. Stating several times the past month he is dedicating this season to his close friend and mentor, Wort plays the same position that Box played for the Sooners.
Wort took to Twitter on Friday to express his emotions.
“Such an honor to wear my friend and mentors jersey,” Wort tweeted. “Crowd better get rowdy when #12 leads the team out.”