Aaron Colvin is the definition of a defensive stopper.
The Oklahoma cornerback is in just his second season playing the position but already looks like a veteran shutdown corner. Heading into the Sooners' battle with Texas at 11 a.m. CT Saturday at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Colvin could be a difference-maker against the Longhorns.
“You have to have great corner play to have success in any league,” said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “Aaron is a very complete player, he does way more than cover. He’s very instinctual, he finds the football very quickly, he understands concepts. From Day One, once he got healthy, I knew he was a special player.”
After missing the spring with a shoulder injury, Colvin moved from safety to cornerback this fall and has played at an elite level through four games.
“He’s a great cover guy, he’s a great athlete, he has great ball skills and he’s highly competitive,” coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s a guy that really takes pride, every day, in how he plays. Even out there against the scout team, he can’t stand it if they catch one ball on him. He’s played great.”
After tying for the team lead with 84 tackles from his safety spot as a sophomore, Colvin is tied for third on the squad with 20 tackles (five per game), an unusually high number for a cornerback, which speaks to how active he is on a play-by-play basis even when the ball isn’t being thrown his way.
“Aaron could play anywhere,” Bob Stoops said. “He can do whatever you need him to do.”
On Saturday, the Sooners will need him to stop Jaxon Shipley. The Longhorns' leading receiver with 22 receptions for 250 yards and four touchdowns, Shipley is the go-to guy for Texas quarterback David Ash. The Longhorns tend to look his way when they need it most, with 11 of his 22 catches coming with UT trailing by seven points or less.
An unenviable task, yet Colvin appears ready for the challenge.
“He’s very athletic,” said cornerback Demontre Hurst, who starts opposite of Colvin. “He’s natural at the corner position; he’s a great player with great instincts. On the opposite side of me, I don’t have to worry, when the ball is in the air, who is going to make the play.”
With Shipley joining Mike Davis and Marquis Goodwin to provide the biggest test of the season for Colvin, he’s not going to back down.
“I pride myself on being confident,” Colvin said. “I’ve always wanted to face the best players.”
Texas’ speedy receivers will give him another chance to do that Saturday. And another chance to further his reputation as OU's defensive stopper.