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OU football: Eric Striker lives up to his name

With his knack for disruptive blitzes, he is one of the most appropriately named college football players in America.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 24, 2013

“That's a team effort,” Striker said. “That's good to help the guys get a sack. The one with Tap … I got good penetration this week. That led to him getting a sack. That's all good. I'm cool with that. Somebody's gonna get it.”

After that quick position change, Striker became a defensive superstar at Armwood, recording 109 tackles, 11 sacks and 18 tackles for loss as a senior. His 42 career sacks are a school record.

But even as other programs started taking notice, Oklahoma initially didn't show any interest in Striker.

“He kept putting pressure on me to give Oklahoma a call,” Callahan said. “I called (former defensive coordinator) Brent Venables, and he said he'd look at his film and get back to me in a week or so because he was going on vacation.

“But Venables called me back in maybe two minutes.”

Striker became an Oklahoma fan as a middle schooler, just from watching the Sooners play on TV. The lifelong Florida native knew he wanted to leave the state for college, and decided early on that Oklahoma was his preferred destination.

Striker appeared in every game as a true freshman last season, mostly on special teams. Callahan said his impact this year is the result of Oklahoma coaches finally playing him in his natural, outside linebacker position.

“We're just so happy that they've got him playing in the right position,” Callahan said. “They tried to make an inside linebacker out of him, but that's not what he was cut out for. It wasn't working.

“I still think he can do more. He can blitz. He can cover you man-to-man. If they get creative with him, I think he could do even more. He's gonna be quite a force.”

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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