CB Colvin playing hurt for Sooners
The pain comes and goes for Aaron Colvin.
The Oklahoma cornerback’s injured shoulder might flare up while
sitting in class, walking to a team meeting or hanging out with the
guys. It hurts worse when it’s cold and it’s going to be frigid
Saturday when No. 18 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12 Conference) plays at
No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1).
But Colvin doesn’t regret – not for a second – his decision to
bypass the NFL draft and return for his senior season with the
Sooners. Games like the Bedlam showdown are what he came back to
Oklahoma for and he plans on toughing it out until the football
”I came back to win games,” Colvin said. ”I came back to try
to help this team win as many games as I could. I’m a competitor at
the end of the day. I can’t sit on the sideline and just watch
something. If I don’t give it my all, then I’m going to have
regrets and that’s one of my biggest things. I don’t want to have
any regrets when I leave this university.
”It’s a tough situation that I’m in. But at the end of the day,
I’ve just got to leave it in God’s hands and try to grind through
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops calls Colvin ”truly one of the best
defensive backs we’ve ever had here.”
Colvin was projected as a potential early round NFL draft choice
after his junior season, in which he had four interceptions and 11
pass breakups and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection. Instead,
Colvin opted to complete what he called ”unfinished business” at
He has played nine games this year, starting eight, and has 47
tackles (five for loss), an interception, a fumble recovery and
three pass breakups. His toughness might be his most valuable
contribution to the Sooners.
He injured his shoulder in a loss at Baylor on Nov. 7 and missed
Oklahoma’s win over Iowa State the following Saturday. On Nov. 23,
on a cold day at Kansas State, the plan was for Colvin to see
limited action but, after K-State receiver Tyler Lockett burned the
Sooners for three long touchdown catches in the first half, that
plan was chucked.
Instead, despite being ”in a ton of pain,” Colvin matched up
on Lockett for most of the second half and held him off the
scoreboard, a key factor in allowing the Sooners to win 41-31.
”It’s been an uncomfortable season with his shoulder and he’s
really toughed it out and it shows you a lot about his character
and his toughness,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops
said. ”It’ll be the same deal (against Oklahoma State). He’s a
fighter and I’m sure he’ll want to play a great game.”
The respect Colvin’s teammates had for him – which already was
considerable – increased after his performance against Kansas
”That’s Slick’s character,” fellow defensive back Zack Sanchez
said, referring to Colvin by his nickname. ”That’s just the type
of player he is. He wants to be in the game, regardless. If he has
a broken leg, he’s going to try to be out there. It just speaks
volumes to people that don’t know that part of Slick. He’s going to
fight to the very end with whatever he’s got.”
Colvin said he does his best to block out the pain – ”I’ve just
got to go out there and play.” – but he also understands the
reality of the situation. When he’s getting ready to make a tackle,
he thinks about how he can protect his shoulder.
”As much as I would try to deny it and say that it doesn’t
(bother me), it does,” he said.
He has had some people close to him suggest that he shouldn’t
play with the injury.
”I’ve got a lot of voices in my ears and whatnot, but it’s
ultimately my decision,” he said. ”Any time somebody tries to
give their opinion on something, I kind of ignore it. I know what’s
best for me and I know what’s best for this team. At the end of the
day, I’ve just got to do us right.”
Colvin said his injury will just need time to heal and that he
doesn’t know yet if he might be at 100 percent for the Sooners’
bowl game. There’s also the prospect of next year’s NFL draft,
during which he figures to be chosen at some point. It was
suggested to him that his willingness to play through pain might be
considered an asset by pro scouts.
”That’d be cool,” he said. ”To be honest, though, I’m just
trying to get these wins. I’m trying to finish out strong. I don’t
want to finish out how we finished out last year (with a bowl loss
to Texas A&M). Whatever it takes, that’s what I’m going to