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.”
STUDENT HOUSING CENTER NAMED AFTER HEADINGTON
OU's new student housing center will be named after alumnus Tim Headington, who was the major donor for the project and a former tennis player.
President David L. Boren said he will recommend to the OU Board of Regents that the housing center be named after Headington at Friday's groundbreaking ceremony.
“To see a former student-athlete act this generously towards those who follow in his footsteps is inspiring, and I think it illustrates the continuity that OU has enjoyed from one era to the next,” athletic director Joe Castiglione said.
Headington donated $10 million for the housing center. He currently serves on the OU athletic director's Executive Advisory Council and was recognized in May with the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, OU's highest award.
The dorms are located on the southeast corner of the Jenkins and Lindsey intersection and will house 49 percent student-athletes.