We are 19 days away from the completion of our countdown to kickoff, and if you’re not quick enough, you could miss today’s edition in our series. Don’t worry though, most players couldn’t keep up with this nightmare edge rusher. Of course, I’m talking about none other than former Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker.
The 6’0”, 220-pound Tampa, Florida native didn’t intimidate the opposition with his size. It was something much more frightening to deal with in the game of football: speed and explosiveness. Aside from having one of the most appropriate names in OU history, Striker’s first step towards opposing quarterbacks was like a strike of lightning all on its own.
Striker played in all 52 games of his four-year career from 2012-15 and started in every one of them after his freshman season. While that kind of health is almost unheard of in football today, it’s even more impressive to know that he did so while playing the game in the style in which he played it in. Striker finished his career with 191 tackles, 23 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Speaking of sacks and forced fumbles . . .
Whether he was up against an agile offensive tackle, an assignment sound tight end or a pass-protecting tailback, the end result was usually the same. Quarterbacks were constantly under pressure, and offensive coordinators were forced to use plays that flowed away from his side of the field. While his physical ability allowed him to play at such warp speed, perhaps his greatest weapon of all was his football intelligence.
Off the field, Striker was (and still is) quite a character. From quizzing the media on FDR’s legacy to calling out the SEC, he perhaps had more personality and charisma than any player during the Bob Stoops Era.
Striker was the heart and soul of the Oklahoma Sooners football program. For all of his highlights on the field as a Sooner, what cannot be fully recognized on film was his overwhelming leadership for the rest of his teammates. That being said, his highlight film is a whole lot of fun to watch, so enjoy, Sooner Nation.
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