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Oklahoma football: Eric Striker a perfect representative for Sooners' reinvigorated defense

After a season of wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks, there is little doubt Striker has the most fitting name in college football. But beyond that, he has become the perfect representative of a confident Oklahoma defense.
by Jason Kersey Published: August 22, 2014

Striker has used that mentality to become a budding superstar at Oklahoma. His team-leading 6.5 sacks last season were the most by an OU linebacker since Torrance Marshall’s 8.5 sacks in 1999.

A new defensive scheme and Striker’s excellence helped the Sooners record 18 more tackles for loss and eight more sacks in 2013 than they did the year before.

He also saved his biggest moments for the biggest stages. In addition to his Sugar Bowl performance, his hit on Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees caused an interception that was returned for a quick touchdown in last year’s historic victory in South Bend, Ind.

Striker also scooped up a fumble and scored a touchdown as time expired in the Sooners’ 33-24 upset of Oklahoma State to end the regular season.

Just before his senior year of high school, Striker committed to then-OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who left to take a job on the Clemson staff about a month before signing day 2012.

New defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and linebackers coach Tim Kish had to fly to Florida to make sure Striker would remain committed, but even then, they didn’t’quite know what they were getting.

“We saw some things on tape that we were like, 'Whoa,' but you know how that goes,” Kish said. “That's high-school level ball. You're hoping that transfers over.

“One he got here, we realized he was that special. I expect great things out of him this year as well.”

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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