The pain comes and goes for Aaron Colvin.
The Oklahoma cornerback's injured shoulder might flare up while sitting in class, walking to a team meeting or hanging out with the guys. It hurts worse when it's cold and it's going to be frigid Saturday when No. 18 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12 Conference) plays at No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1).
But Colvin, of Owasso, doesn't regret - not for a second - his decision to bypass the NFL draft and return for his senior season with the Sooners. Games like the Bedlam showdown are what he came back to Oklahoma for and he plans on toughing it out until the football season ends.
''I came back to win games,'' Colvin said. ''I came back to try to help this team win as many games as I could. I'm a competitor at the end of the day. I can't sit on the sideline and just watch something. If I don't give it my all, then I'm going to have regrets and that's one of my biggest things. I don't want to have any regrets when I leave this university.
''It's a tough situation that I'm in. But at the end of the day, I've just got to leave it in God's hands and try to grind through it.''
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops calls Colvin ''truly one of the best defensive backs we've ever had here.''
Colvin was projected as a potential early round NFL draft choice after his junior season, in which he had four interceptions and 11 pass breakups and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection. Instead, Colvin opted to complete what he called ''unfinished business'' at Oklahoma.
He has played nine games this year, starting eight, and has 47 tackles (five for loss), an interception, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups. His toughness might be his most valuable contribution to the Sooners.
He injured his shoulder in a loss at Baylor on Nov. 7 and missed Oklahoma's win over Iowa State the following Saturday. On Nov. 23, on a cold day at Kansas State, the plan was for Colvin to see limited action but, after K-State receiver Tyler Lockett burned the Sooners for three long touchdown catches in the first half, that plan was chucked.
Instead, despite being ''in a ton of pain,'' Colvin matched up on Lockett for most of the second half and held him off the scoreboard, a key factor in allowing the Sooners to win 41-31.
''It's been an uncomfortable season with his shoulder and he's really toughed it out and it shows you a lot about his character and his toughness,'' Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. ''It'll be the same deal (against Oklahoma State). He's a fighter and I'm sure he'll want to play a great game.''
The respect Colvin's teammates had for him - which already was considerable - increased after his performance against Kansas State.
''That's Slick's character,'' fellow defensive back Zack Sanchez said, referring to Colvin by his nickname. ''That's just the type of player he is. He wants to be in the game, regardless. If he has a broken leg, he's going to try to be out there. It just speaks volumes to people that don't know that part of Slick. He's going to fight to the very end with whatever he's got.''
Colvin said he does his best to block out the pain - ''I've just got to go out there and play.'' - but he also understands the reality of the situation. When he's getting ready to make a tackle, he thinks about how he can protect his shoulder.
''As much as I would try to deny it and say that it doesn't (bother me), it does,'' he said.
He has had some people close to him suggest that he shouldn't play with the injury.
''I've got a lot of voices in my ears and whatnot, but it's ultimately my decision,'' he said. ''Any time somebody tries to give their opinion on something, I kind of ignore it. I know what's best for me and I know what's best for this team. At the end of the day, I've just got to do us right.''
Colvin said his injury will just need time to heal and that he doesn't know yet if he might be at 100 percent for the Sooners' bowl game. There's also the prospect of next year's NFL draft, during which he figures to be chosen at some point. It was suggested to him that his willingness to play through pain might be considered an asset by pro scouts.
''That'd be cool,'' he said. ''To be honest, though, I'm just trying to get these wins. I'm trying to finish out strong. I don't want to finish out how we finished out last year (with a bowl loss to Texas A&M). Whatever it takes, that's what I'm going to do.''
The pain comes and goes for Aaron Colvin.
'Twice as Nice'
When it comes to the 3A State Tournament and Oklahoma City, the Verdigris High School basketball teams are a household name.
Head coaches Randy Upshaw and Mike Buntin lead their programs back to the 'Capitol City' this week for a chance to hoist the coveted 3A state championship on Saturday night at the Big House.
‘Soaring to State’
In the hometown of Carrie Underwood, Verdigris senior point guard Baileigh O’Dell proved to be Oklahoma’s ‘Basketball Idol’ in Class 3A Girls Basketball.
The 5-foot-8 floor general put the No. 4-ranked Lady Cardinals on her shoulders and carried Verdigris back to the the state tournament with the 53-40 win over No. 5 Tahlequah Sequoyah Friday night in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.
3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Tahlequah Sequoyah wins nail-biter over No. 4 Verdigris
The Tahlequah Sequoyah Indians pulled the upset Friday night and punched their ticket to the Class 3A State Tournament.
Behind Caisen Green’s game-high 26 points and B.J. Leach’s 16 points, the Indians roared past No. 4 Verdigris, 64-55 in the Area Championship at the Checotah Event Center.
4A AREA PLAYOFFS: Stilwell eliminates Inola
The Inola Longhorns got behind early and never could recover as Stilwell rolled to a 73-47 win in the Class 4A Area Tournament Friday afternoon at Claremore High School Gymnasium.
4A AREA PLAYOFFS: Inola knocks out Locust Grove
The Inola Lady Longhorns moved one win closer to punching their ticket to the Class 4A State Tournament Friday afternoon.
With the 37-35 win over Locust Grove, the Lady Longhorns advanced to the Area Finals Saturday night against Vinita.
High School Basketball State Tournament Brackets
The Oklahoma High School Basketball State Tournaments will get under way this week in Oklahoma City and the Tulsa-Metro Area.
Below is a listing of the Class 3A-6A State Tournament Pairings.
Arkansas fires women's basketball coach Tom Collen
Arkansas fired women's basketball coach Tom Collen on Friday, bringing a close to a disappointing stretch for the program.
The Razorbacks (19-11) lost in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament to Mississippi on Wednesday, the eighth time in nine seasons they've failed to advance past the opening game.
SEC MBB: Alabama snaps Arkansas' 6-game win streak
Trevor Releford scored 24 points and Shannon Hale added 18 to lead Alabama to an 83-58 victory over Arkansas on Saturday, snapping the Razorbacks' six-game winning streak.
SEC MBB: Tennessee trounces Missouri, 72-45
Antonio Barton scored 16 points and Jarnell Stokes had a double-double Saturday as Tennessee trounced Missouri 72-45 to win its fourth straight game and boost its NCAA tournament hopes.
BIG 12 MBB: Crockett leads Texas Tech past Texas
Jaye Crockett scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Texas Tech to a 59-53 win over Texas in a regular-season finale on Saturday.
This was the Red Raiders' (14-17, 6-12 Big 12) first win over the Longhorns (22-9, 11-7) since 2008 in Lubbock.
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