- Jake Trotter, ESPN Staff Writer
Each week, SoonerNation ranked Oklahoma’s top 10 performers of the season. Following OU’s 41-13 loss to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, here is the final Oklahoma 10 of 2012:
1. QB Landry Jones (Last week: No. 1): Jones didn’t have the kind of career finale he had hoped for. But without him, the Sooners go 8-5 this season, at best. His turnovers can drive one crazy, but Jones was OU’s best player this season. He will be tougher to replace than most OU fans think.
2. FB Trey Millard (5): The only silver lining to come out of Friday night was Millard’s announcement that he’s coming back to school for his senior season. Millard finished with 198 yards on 33 carries. If the Sooners are going to be a serious team in 2013, Millard’s touches need to triple.
3. FS Tony Jefferson (2): If that was indeed Jefferson’s final game, it shouldn’t be the one OU fans remember him by. The All-Big 12 performer had one of the worst games in his college career. But for the majority of the season, Jefferson was the Sooners’ top and most consistent defensive player.
4. CB Aaron Colvin (3): Colvin was put in an untenable position in Arlington, as he had to cover receivers for sometimes as long as nine seconds. Colvin was one of the few bright spots on the OU defense, and could be a potential All-American if he returns in 2013.
5. WR Kenny Stills (4): Stills dropped a touchdown, but he still had seven catches for 67 yards, and was one of the few Sooners to make something happen offensively. After a disappointing sophomore season, Stills bounced back with a very strong junior campaign, leading the Sooners with 11 touchdown catches.
6. WR Jalen Saunders (6): Stills led the Sooners in receiving, but Saunders was OU’s most efficient passing weapon, pacing the Sooners in yards after the catch and completion percentage on balls thrown his way. If OU is able to maintain its offensive production with a new QB in 2013, Saunders will be a big reason why.
7. LT Lane Johnson (NR): Johnson wasn’t ranked for most of the season, and that was a mistake on our part. Johnson held up well against Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, who figures to be a top five pick in the upcoming draft. Johnson, however, could be a first rounder, too. It’s been an incredible journey for the quarterback turned tight end turned defensive end turned left tackle.
8. WR Justin Brown (7): One of the reasons Brown transferred to OU from sanctioned Penn State was to play in a bowl game. He got that opportunity, and had OU’s only touchdown. Brown definitely made an impact on the Sooners, and helped turned the receiving position from a potential weakness into a strength.
9. C Gabe Ikard (8): The OU offensive line was one of the better parts of the team this season, a remarkable feat considering the adversity the unit faced. Ikard’s versatility allowed the Sooners to overcome injuries to Tyler Evans, Ben Habern and later Adam Shead. He will be a team captain again next season on a unit that figures to be even stouter in 2013 with better healthy.
10. SS Javon Harris (NR): Harris was one of the few Sooners who came to play Friday night. His heady interception in the end zone negated a Texas A&M scoring opportunity. After a rocky junior year, Harris finishes his OU career with a very strong senior season.
2dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon