DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 8: Aaron Colvin #15 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after a big play against the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl on October 8, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns 44 to 3. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
It's not at all uncommon for a unit's mistakes to overshadow its accomplishments and if there is a theme to this season for the OU secondary it's that. For a majority of the season, the Sooners defensive backs were outstanding. However, when they did make mistakes they were so incredibly bad that it was difficult for some to move past them. Now with some perspective as the regular season as come to a close, I do believe it is somewhat easier to go back and really appreciate just how well this secondary played for the most part.
Demontre Hurst: A-
Final stats: 51 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 glorious pick six against Texas
Hurst was his usual lockdown self, rarely giving up the big play and much like his entire career thus far, playing so well he gets taken for granted. As well as he did play, I don't think it was the kind of season that would propel him to forego his final season and declare early. Which will be a great thing for a defense that would be hard pressed to have to replace both starting cornerbacks.
Final stats: 53 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 INT
After putting his senior season in jeopardy with academic issues, the Sooners standout corner was reinstated and came back with another outstanding season. He has always had a tendency to fall asleep at times, but more so with the stuff in front of him as opposed to getting beat deep. Aside from that, he was the same shut down corner we'd come to know and showed a knack for stripping the ball away from opponents creating multiple turnovers.
Aaron Colvin: A+
Final stats: 80 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 0.5 sack,
With the season that Frank Alexander had it was hard to choose anyone else for a defensive MVP type award, but if Big Frank was 1A then Colvin was sure as heck 1B. Making the transition from corner to safety, you would have thought he had been playing the position all his life. He was absolutely outstanding the entire season, so much so that it's virtually impossible to remember an instance where he was ever out of position. As great as he was, I know I am not alone in my hopes that the coaches move him back to corner next year to take Fleming's place. Shut down corners are obviously much harder to find than safeties so his talents will be put to much better use at corner IMO.
Javon Harris: C-
Final stats: 47 tackles, 1 for loss, 3 INTs
I know most of you are probably thinking "C?!? Are you crazy? It's an F you moron!" I'm well aware of what you're using as a reference to make that argument, I mean we're all well aware obviously. However, I really think that is the short sided and/or emotional approach. Yeah, no question he had some god awful moments. But those aside, he played pretty well for the rest of the season and was his typical self making an impact in run defense. I'm just choosing to focus on both the good and bad of his season and average them out for a final grade.
Sam Proctor: C
Final stats: 27 tackles
Proctor didn't really see the field much outside of special teams, where he was a solid contributor as usual, so it's probably unfair that the one glaring impact he made on defense was a mistake in the Baylor game. No real need to go in-depth on the play, we all remember what happened. Rather focus on Proctor as a quality teammate who never let his lack of playing time effect his attitude which is a true testament to him and should not be overlooked.
Gabe Lynn: D+
Final stats: 22 tackles, 2 for loss
Look, there is no getting around this not being a good season for the Jenks product. He was bad in the Missouri game, but the team was able to overcome not just his but a lackluster performance by the entire team. Sadly, he was even worse against Texas Tech but he certainly wasn't the lone reason the Sooners lost that game. Call it an excuse if you want, but I think his failures are about as much on the coaches as they are on him. These coaches never play the kid, then put him out there in a big spot and expect him not to screw up when he has limited (at best) live reps in an actual game. All that said, I think his future is at safety and not corner so maybe he could find success moving back to the spot we hope Colvin will vacate?