In the weeks leading up to the Cotton Bowl, SoonerNation will take a look back at how the Sooners performed position-by-position and give each group a grade based on that performance. Today, we examine the cornerback position.
Highlights: During the preseason, the cornerback duos at Texas and Oklahoma State seemed to be gathering all the accolades. Turned out, the best cornerback tandem in the Big 12, and one of the best in the country, resided in Norman. Demontre Hurst capped off his solid career with a standout senior season. Aaron Colvin, meanwhile, had a breakout campaign, with four interceptions while earning all-Big 12 honors. Their ability allowed Mike Stoops to stick with his man-to-man defensive coverage all season.
Lowlights: As good as they were, Colvin and Hurst both had some down moments. Colvin was abused by West Virginia wideout Stedman Bailey, who had three touchdown catches in the fourth quarter alone in their game. Hurst surrendered a huge fourth-quarter pass that proved crucial in the loss to Notre Dame.
Surprises: Few people outside the program realized how good of corner Colvin is. In 2011 he played free safety and had a very underrated sophomore season, but some wondered if he could be as effective as a corner. Not only was “Colvin Island” effective, he was a ball-hawking blanket. If he comes back for his senior season, he will be on the short list of Jim Thorpe Award favorites.
Grade: A. Along with quarterback, cornerback was the strength of this team. Hurst will go down as one of the better corners to come through Norman during the Stoops era. Colvin could go down as one of the best. The Sooners had a top-25 pass defense nationally, and these two guys were primary reasons why.