OU report card: Safety

The two-week series of grades concludes at Sooners Illustrated with the OU safeties.

With the Oklahoma football season in the books, Sooners Illustrated is going to look back at each position group to see how they fared in 2013.

Safety

Heading into the season, the prevailing thought was Gabe Lynn and Quentin Hayes were just keeping the seat warm for freshmen Ahmad Thomas and Hatari Byrd.

Nope, not even close. Lynn had a remarkable senior season, erasing sour memories of his sophomore and junior seasons and certainly became one of the team leaders. Hayes, not as consistent, also had some nice moments.

Not much more can be said about Lynn, who led the team with four interceptions for the season. After all the backlash he received as a younger player, he put it all to the side and played like an all-conference performer as a senior.

Couldn't do much in coverage, but a lot of credit has to go to Kass Everett. As a dime back, he came in and had a couple of really nice blitzes that led to sacks and turnovers.

Hayes will be back next season although it does now feel like it's time for Thomas and Byrd to step into those roles as the anchors of the secondary.

Best moment: Early in the season against West Virginia, Hayes and Lynn were at their best and showed to everybody they were going to be the guys this season. Hayes led the team with eight tackles and forced a fumble. Lynn recovered that fumble and also had an interception and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.

Worst moment: Feels strange to say, but Hayes and Lynn weren't at their best in OU's finest moment against Alabama. Lynn had an interception, but they missed a lot of tackles and were in the wrong position a number of times. It's one reason many believe Hayes isn't the automatic starter for 2014.

Sooners Illustrated grade: B.

***Click here to see all of the OU grades during this two-week series***

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