Saturday, August 11, 2012
LB Eric Striker won’t redshirt, is ‘special’
By Jake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon
NORMAN, Okla. -- Much has been made of Oklahoma’s offensive freshmen, like receivers Trey Metoyer and Sterling Shepard and running back Alex Ross. But a few freshmen defenders are making waves through the first week of practice, including outside linebacker Erik Striker.
Linebackers coach Tim Kish said Tuesday he has “no intentions” of redshirting Striker.
“He’s a tough, physical player; has good football instincts,” Kish said. “We’re definitely utilizing him right now on special teams and work him in there and keep developing him as an outside linebacker.”
Striker is working in at weak-side linebacker behind Corey Nelson, Joe Ibiloye and Aaron Franklin. Striker won’t see much playing time at linebacker this season. But on special teams, he could make an immediate impact.
“That guy is something special,” Nelson said. “A great player who is very fast, very instinctive and so full of life. To have him on the team is amazing, I look forward to him playing this season. He’s one of those guys you need to look out for, because he’s a playmaker.”
Striker was a terrific defender in high school and excelled close to the line of scrimmage and on blitzes, so it seems like a natural fit to move him to linebacker. His seemingly smooth transition to college linebacker has been one of the top developments of camp thus far.