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

season ends.

”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