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Oklahoma football Q&A: Eric Striker having fun with his new pass coverage responsibilities

Eric Striker is practicing in the nickelback spot along with sophomore Ahmad Thomas while returning starter Julian Wilson recovers from shoulder surgery this spring.
by Jason Kersey Published: March 23, 2014


photo - The Sooners lift up Oklahoma's Eric Striker (19) as they celebrate after Striker scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery during the final play of the Bedlam college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. OU won, 33-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
The Sooners lift up Oklahoma's Eric Striker (19) as they celebrate after Striker scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery during the final play of the Bedlam college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. OU won, 33-24. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

— Oklahoma’s Eric Striker established himself as one of college football’s elite pass rushers last season, and solidified that distinction by tormenting Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and quarterback A.J. McCarron in the Sooners’ 45-31 Sugar Bowl upset.

Striker recorded three of Oklahoma’s seven sacks in the game, but is now working more in pass coverage so far through the Sooners’ 2014 spring football practices.

The junior is practicing in the nickelback spot along with sophomore Ahmad Thomas while returning starter Julian Wilson recovers from shoulder surgery this spring.

Striker spoke with reporters recently about his new responsibilities, the OU defense and matching up with quarterback-turned-tight end Blake Bell in practice.

Q: What’s it like playing some in pass coverage?

A: It’s just something to get used to. I’ve been better as practices go on, so it’s something new to learn. It’s fun. I’m getting more comfortable.

Did you cover guys in high school?

No, I didn’t really cover that much in high school, either, so it’s new for me.

Pass rushing is more fun though, right?

It is more fun. I’ll be doing the pass rush thing in certain situations. But as far as the base defense, I guess I’m not pass rushing as much. But that’s OK with me.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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