Each week Sooners Illustrated turns off the narrative and allows one OU player to say his thoughts. Uncut, it’s unfiltered. This week it’s safety Ahmad Thomas as he prepares to play his final game with the Sooners.
How would you evaluate your season’s performance?
I felt like I didn't do enough this season. It was a lot of plays that didn't come my way and it was a lot of plays that did come my way. Some of them I made and some of them I missed, but I really didn't have too many opportunities on the ball this year. I had one opportunity and I dropped it, but I've just got to make plays that do come to me.
Why do you think those opportunities didn’t come as much this season?
I think they were scouting more this year because my sophomore year, I didn't really have a good season my sophomore year. That next year, they heard I was starting so I guess they thought it was just free play and that's when I got all my plays. Then I guess they just started scouting me more often, I mean more throughout this season and I really didn't get that many plays.
Look at the bowl game as a chance to make up for some things?
Yeah, that's the game I've really been waiting on because after I look back on my season, I feel like I didn't do enough. My name was really out there last year and now nothing. It's just firing me up to get to that game. I think it's going to be a good game.
How much better has the secondary gotten really since the Texas Tech game?
It was just getting in rhythm with each other. We didn't lose a lot of people in the secondary, but it was just mind-blowing that that one corner spot made a big difference and we just had to learn and grow and play with each other and just trust whoever was at that corner spot throughout the season. We just finally stuck with one guy and things started rolling for us.
I actually watched that Alabama and Auburn game when they played live and they are a very physical team defensively. Offensively, I've seen a lot of different things that I don't normally see in an offense, you know, a lot of misdirection. I just think they're really a well-coached team that we are really going to have to be disciplined to play against.
Did you watch that Alabama/Auburn game thinking that you might be playing them?
Yeah, at that time, I was watching it just to be watching it because I wanted to see Alabama play and Auburn play because those are good SEC teams and as I was watching it, I was just seeing how physical they were. Out of nowhere, we're playing them now so that was a good thing for me that I did watch that game.
Do you feel any extra responsibility during practice to talk to some of those young guys even more than you normally would to help you along?
Yeah, I started that as soon as I knew I was a senior because those are the guys that have got to play after me. It's not only on the coaches to get them better, but it's on us to get each other better, too. I feel like that's a reflection of me with somebody coming up that was behind me. I want somebody behind me to be better than I was when I was here. We should get better as a team. The team should grow and get better every year.
The goal is to leave place better than when you came. You don’t want things to go downhill after, right?
I don't because why would you want to be like that when you leave? That's your team still like you always will play. You can't take your name off that 2016 roster. That was your team and is always going to be your team so I don't want my team to be sorry or not better than we were the year before when I leave. I just think that way.
Think it's been tough for Will Sunderland and Kahlil Haughton to wait their turn?
Yeah. It's always tough because when you're coming out of high school and you've been playing all those years and then you get to college and you don't play for almost three years, that's got to be hard on anybody.
Have you had any words of advice to them?
Just don't give up. Just keep working because your time will come sooner or later. I'm about to leave so somebody's got to get this spot.
Is it weird to you that it's almost over?
It is kind of weird because I remember my first interview with you guys.