Derrick Strait’s OU career reads like a storybook of accolades and special moments, beginning with a National Championship in his freshman year and capped by the 2003 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award as a senior. Strait, during his four seasons in the crimson and cream, was one of the best and most exciting defensive backs in the nation, and along with fellow Nagurski and Thorpe award winner Roy Williams, epitomized the high-flying, hard-hitting, play-making defensive backs in the early Stoops era. After starring at quarterback, running back and defensive back in high school, the versatile Austin native recognized where true greatness resided and brought his eye-popping talents and 40-inch vertical to Norman and tormented his hometown school down south in memorable fashion.
D-Strait often saved his best when the stakes were highest, such as the complete domination of Chris Simms in the 2000 Red River Breakout Party, the second-half pick-six of Eric Crouch against then-No. 1 Nebraska, the iconic win-securing 4th & Goal pass breakup in Stillwater, and of course, there was the late-game deflection of Old Man Weinke to Anquan Boldin in the National Championship against Free Shoes University.
Though plagued by injuries early and often in what ended up being a brief NFL career, highlights like these below show why the legend of Derrick Strait is forever etched in Oklahoma and college football history.