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OU's Aaron Colvin proves to be a dependable defender

The sophomore was handed a difficult assignment Saturday, steppping in at cornerback despite having limited reps at the position in practice recently.
BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: October 27, 2011

— With Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege constantly burning the Oklahoma secondary, Aaron Colvin was handed a difficult assignment.

Cornerback Game Lynn had been Doege's most frequent victim, and in mid-game, OU coaches switched Colvin, their starting strong safety, to cornerback even though he had limited cornerback reps the past six months.

“He's been at safety this whole season,” said cornerback Demontre Hurst. “For him to go through the transition of safety to corner that has to be hard. He barely gets any reps at corner. It shows he's versatile and can play either position.”

The Sooners lost 41-38, but moving Colvin to cornerback helped OU stage a late-game rally that fell short.

After the change, the Sooners didn't shut down the Red Raiders. But Tech scored only 10 points after the Colvin move, compared to the 31 points the Red Raiders had scored by one possession into the second half.

Lynn was filling in for Jamell Fleming, who probably will be sidelined again for Saturday's game at Kansas State after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery 11 days ago. If Fleming can't go, Colvin is an option to start at boundary cornerback.

“I take a lot of pride in being versatile,” Colvin said. “Being able to showcase it now, playing safety and corner, I try to play them both to the best of my ability.”

Colvin said playing cornerback feels natural, but it's more complicated than just switching positions.

“It's going from the field side to the boundary side,” Colvin said. “It's a different level of play ... You're a lot more patient at safety. At corner, things are always on the move trying to jump routes.”

It's a luxury for defensive coordinator Brent Venables to have a versatile player who can play both positions well.

“It's pretty difficult, but not as much for him,” Venables said. “He's a good player. He has good instincts, a good feel for the game. He takes reps there as well in practice.”

But it had been limited cornerback reps for Colvin heading into last week's game. He's played more cornerback in practice this week.

Colvin might end up playing both positions Saturday.

“Coaches can trust him at either position,” Hurst said. “Wherever you put him he'll play hard and make plays.”

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