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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Crimson Countdown: LB Eric Striker

By Brandon Chatmon

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 19 Eric Striker
Linebacker, 6-foot, 198 pounds, sophomore


Impact thus far: Striker has impressed with his physical ability but has been unable to do more than carve out a special teams role thus far. Striker escaped a redshirt season as a freshman and played in 12 games as a special-teamer. In his lone extended time on defense against Kansas, Striker finished with six tackles including three solo stops, as he recorded his only stats of the season.

Expectations for 2013: Striker should provide depth behind Corey Nelson, Aaron Franklin and Frank Shannon in addition to a role as a core member of OU’s special teams units. He’s also displayed pass rushing abilities, so he could get a look in that role as well.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Striker improves enough to become a legit option at linebacker, thus giving the Sooners four quality linebackers to work with and lessening the concern if the injury bug hits the linebacking corps. He probably won't surpass Nelson, Shannon or Franklin but he could help the Sooners feel really good about their two-deep at the position.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: Striker never makes clear progress as a linebacker, leaving OU thin at the position with just three quality linebackers unless a newcomer like Dominique Alexander or Jordan Evans proves ready to play. It would be a bad scenario for Striker, who would risk being passed on the depth chart by younger players.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Striker: B-minus. It’s early for Striker but he has displayed the physical ability to be a playmaker for the Sooners and seems to perform his best in game action. He just needs to continue to progress and develop as a linebacker.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Striker: C-minus. Since Striker wasn’t redshirting, the Sooners should have thrown him into the fire more in blowout wins. Outside of Kansas, OU didn’t make a point to get him some snaps on defense in situations where it wouldn’t have hurt them and would have helped his development as a linebacker.