Sooners defensive back departing for the NFL By George Schroeder Staff Writer NORMAN - Oklahoma safety Brodney Pool has decided to leave school early for the NFL, his mother said Friday. The deadline for college juniors to declare for the NFL Draft is today. If a player does not sign with an agent, he has until Wednesday to rescind the decision. Pool could not be reached Friday. His mother, Rose Brimmer, said Pool has filed the necessary paperwork with the NFL. She said he has not signed with an agent but is set on moving on. "He's adamant about it," Brimmer said. "Anything's possible, but I don't think he'll change his mind." OU coach Bob Stoops declined comment until after he has had further discussions with Pool. But the decision caught coaches somewhat by surprise. They hoped to talk Pool into remaining in school. Pool's departure would mean OU must replace seven defensive starters in 2005, including three of four in the secondary. But sources said they were less concerned with next season's depth chart than the belief Pool was making a mistake. Pool, a 6-foot-2, 208-pounder, is a two-year starter with plenty of physical tools. He led OU with 92 tackles in 2004. But Pool's draft status is uncertain. Safeties are not typically premium commodities on draft boards; Pool might not be selected in the first three rounds. Pool apparently is the only OU underclassman who will jump early. NFL rules prohibit players from declaring for the draft until they've been out of high school for three years. OU co-defensive coordinators Brent Venables and Bo Pelini declined comment Friday. But coaches have met with Pool in hopes of talking him out of the decision. Brimmer, an assistant women's track coach at Texas, said Pool was hearing "one thing from coaches and one thing from others. He's just listening to what people are saying. It's a lot of crazy stuff right now." Brimmer said her son was in Austin and did not plan to return to Norman for the spring semester, which begins Monday. She did not appear happy with his decision. "We told him as parents we'd rather he go back to school," Brimmer said. "But he's a big boy and it's his decision." After a stellar sophomore season, many predicted better things for Pool in 2004. Although he led the Sooners in tackles, his overall performance was disappointing. In the Orange Bowl, Pool was twice victimized in zone coverage for touchdowns. Both times, he had deep field responsibility but allowed a receiver to slip behind him. Pool was also responsible for several other deep passes during the regular season. If Pool does not change his mind, he will become the fourth OU player in the last four seasons to leave early. Roy Williams, Jimmy Wilkerson and Tommie Harris chose the NFL over their senior seasons. OU coaches encouraged Williams to leave early after the 2001 season because he was projected as an early first-round selection. Williams was the eighth overall pick by Dallas. They tried to dissuade Wilkerson, a defensive end, from leaving after the 2002 season. He was a sixth-round pick by Kansas City. And although Harris projected as a first-rounder -- and went No. 14 overall to Chicago -- coaches believed he could have improved his draft position by remaining in school for the 2004 season. A year ago, several OU players considered leaving early. But defensive end Dan Cody, offensive lineman Jammal Brown and receiver Mark Clayton decided to return. All three have apparently improved their draft position, based on early projections for the 2005 draft. Cody and Brown are projected as first-rounders on many mock draft boards. Clayton is considered a first- or second-rounder by many. No other Sooners are expected to jump early. Davin Joseph, who consistently graded out as the Sooners' best offensive lineman, has told coaches he would return for his senior season. "All he needs to look at is what Jammal did last year," offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. "(Brown) had a chance to go out (early) but his stock has gone way up this year." I think this guy is making a big mistake after getting burnt regularly this past year and taking bad angles. There is no doubt he has great physical skills he compares to a Ken Hamlin, but will need alot of coaching to correct some of these flaws. I have mixed feelings of us taking him in the 2nd and I don't think he will be there in the 4th. Any thoughts?