OU’s most improved player of the season

January, 13, 2012
1/13/12
4:18
PM ET
The SoonerNation staff is wrapping up Oklahoma's 10-3 season by answering 10 questions, just like we did during the Sooners' bye week in November. Today:

Who is the Sooners' most improved player of the season?

DE R.J. Washington
[+] EnlargeTony Jefferson
AP Photo/Sue OgrockiTony Jefferson (left) and R.J. Washington will be starters in 2012.
This could have gone to wideout Jaz Reynolds, but he flamed out late in the year. Linebacker Tom Wort was improved, but still too inconsistent. So I’ll go with Washington. Before the season, Washington seemed destined to finish the rest of his career on the sideline. Instead, he became a solid backup to Ronnell Lewis and Frank Alexander, then exploded for two sacks in the Insight Bowl facing off against future NFL first round tackle Riley Reiff. With Alexander and Lewis both gone, OU will be counting on Washington to be its No. 1 pass rusher next season.
- Jake Trotter

S Aaron Colvin
Colvin went from impact freshman at cornerback to a core member of the defense at safety. One of the most consistent defenders, Colvin is good in coverage, a solid tackler and always around the football and proved to be durable. Imagine the Sooners secondary without No. 14 this season.
- Brandon Chatmon

NB Tony Jefferson
It wasn’t a season without a bump or two for Jefferson, but when healthy, he showed exactly what he can do. He had four interceptions in two games (three against Ball State, one against Texas). During the second half of the season he wasn’t 100 percent, but he was back to his old self in the bowl game. He had seven tackles and had that explosiveness again. Playing at his natural safety spot, 2012 should be a breakout season for the California native.
- Bob Przybylo

DE R.J. Washington
In his fourth year on campus, the No. 11 overall player in the 2008 ESPNU 150 finally found his way onto the field. And he made an impact in spot duty, too, with 5 sacks, including 2 in the Sooners' Insight Bowl win over Iowa. Washington told our Brandon Chatmon in October that coach Bobby Jack Wright helped him change his practice habits, which led to a breakout season. And his bowl performance makes him the favorite to start at defensive end in 2012.
- Dane Beavers

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