Curtis Lofton # LB
Height: 6-0 Weight: 241 Age: 29
Born: 6/9/1986 Kingfisher , OK
Experience: 8th season
High School: Kingfisher HS [OK]
Selected By: Atlanta Falcons
Pick (Overall): 6 (37)
With many professional teams begging for speed at linebacker, Curtis Lofton entered the 2008 NFL Draft pool as junior knowing he has a chance to make a big splash.
A strong-side linebacker for most of his career, Lofton is just starting to tap his vast potential and may have found his calling at middle linebacker. He shifted inside for his final four games with the Sooners and finished his junior campaign with one of the most productive seasons by a defender, as his 157 total tackles are the most by an Oklahoma player since George Cumby amassed 160 hits in 1979.
At Kingfisher High School, Lofton was a standout inside linebacker who also competed at fullback. He was rated the eight-best middle linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com and the second-best overall player in the Midlands region by Super Prep and Scout.com, who also had him listed as the state of Oklahoma's second-ranked player. Rivals.com rated Lofton the fourth-best inside linebacker and 62nd-best prospect in the prep ranks.
A Parade first-team All-American as a senior, Lofton added Daily Oklahoman All-State and Oklahoma High School Coaches Association All-State first-team accolades. He lettered three times, leading the team in tackles with 168, adding eight sacks as a senior. In 2003, he collected 187 tackles and had 150 stops as a sophomore.
For his career, Lofton registered 505 tackles, leading the team to the Class 3A State Championship in 2003 and helped the squad advance to the semifinals in 2004, when he also rushed for 12 touchdowns. Nominated for the March of Dimes Oklahoma Headliners Banquet as one of the top scholar-athletes in the state of Oklahoma, he was a three-time Honor Roll student. He also competed for the basketball and track teams.
Lofton enrolled at Oklahoma in 2005, but was relegated mostly to special teams while seeing just a few snaps at middle linebacker. He had a two-yard kickoff return and had three solo tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
In 2006, Lofton appeared in all 14 games, starting at strong-side linebacker in five games. He ranked ninth on the squad with 37 tackles (20 solo), including 4.5 stops for losses. He caused and recovered a fumble, adding a 14-yard kickoff return in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Boise State.
Lofton wrested a full-time starting job in 2007. He lined up at strong-side linebacker for the first 10 contests before shifting to the middle for the final five games. His career-high 157 tackles (94 solo) rank seventh on the school's single-season list and were the third-highest total in the NCAA ranks (his average of 11.21 tackles per game ranked seventh nationally).
Lofton also had a sack, 10.5 stops for losses and four forced fumbles. He recovered a fumble for a touchdown, scored once on three interceptions and deflected two passes. That performance earned him consensus All-American and All-Big Twelve Conference honors, in addition to being selected Big Twelve Defensive Player of the year by the Associated Press.
After the season, Lofton declared that he was entering the 2008 NFL Draft. Lofton said the atmosphere at Oklahoma readied him for the next step.
In 39 games at Oklahoma, Lofton started 19 times, including four starts at middle linebacker. He recorded 197 tackles (117 solo) with a two-yard sack and 16 stops for losses of 33 yards. He caused five fumbles and recovered two others, returning one 12 yards for a score. He gained 71 yards on three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and batted down two other throws. He also gained 16 yards on a pair of onside kickoff returns.