“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”
Oklahoma Linebacker Eric Striker Named WK 5 Lott IMPACT Player Of The Week
- Updated: October 5, 2015
NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. – Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker has been named the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week.
The 6-0, 222-pound senior from Seffner, Florida was a whirlwind on defense in the Sooners’ 44-24 win over West Virginia Saturday. Striker had a team (and career) high 13 tackles, three of the tackles were for losses and two were sacks. He also forced a fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a decisive touchdown.
In recognition of Striker’s performance, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the Lott IMPACT Trophy, will make a $1,000 donation to the general scholarship fund at Oklahoma.
Striker is a two-time All-Big 12 selection who has 32.5 tackles for losses in his career and 18 sacks. A political science major, he is often described as outspoken, personable and fearless. “We talk about life in general, things that are happening in the world,” OU outside linebackers coach Tim Kish told the Tulsa World. “He’s an interesting guy. He really loves life. For his age, to be that kind of person and to have a smile on his face every day… I wish they all did.”
Other notable performances by players on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List were:
Jeremy Cash, S, Sr., Duke – Had 8 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses, one pass broken up and one quarterback hurry as Blue Devils (5-0) remained undefeated with 9-7 win over Boston College.
Myles Garrett, DE, So., Texas A&M – Had team high 7 tackles, 2 tackles for losses, one sack, a forced fumble and a pass broken up in 30-17 win over Mississippi State.
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Sr., Florida – Had an interception and returned it 36 yards to go along with 7 tackles in win over Ole Miss, 38-10.
Bronson Kaufusi, LB, Sr., BYU – Had key interception that led to a score. Added two tackles for loss (one was a sack) in 30-13 win over Pittsburgh.
Derrick Kindred, S, Sr., TCU – Had 7 tackles, one for a loss and forced a fumble in rout of Texas, 50-7.
Blake Martinez, LB, Sr., Stanford – Led team with 13 tackles in win over Arizona, 55-18.
Reggie Ragland, LB, Jr., Alabama – Led Crimson Tide with 8 tackles and broke up one pass in win over Georgia, 38-10.
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Sr., Oklahoma State – Had 2.5 tackles for losses, including one sack, added two quarterback hurries and six total tackles in win over Kansas State, 36-34.
2015 Winners of the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week
Week 1 – Calvin Munson, San Diego State
Week 5 – Eric Striker, Oklahoma
Lott IMPACT Trophy Alumni Spotlight
CATCHING UP WITH…After 10 amazing seasons in the NFL with six different teams, Jim Leonhard, a 2004 Lott IMPACT Trophy finalist, is back home in Wisconsin, adjusting to life after football.
“It hasn’t been that bad because I got to leave on my own terms,” he says. “I watch the games, of course, and I see things I think I can still do. I’m staying in shape so if someone were to call, we’d consider the opportunity.”
Leonhard, 32, and his wife, Katie, spend most of their time as he says “chasing the two little ones around (their kids are 3 and 1). We’re also building a house just outside Madison (where he was an All-American safety at Wisconsin). As for figuring out what I want to do, that’s my next step. Just being back in Madison and settling in and seeing what’s out there. I know this is going to be home for me and just wanted to take a little bit of time to decide what the right path is going to be.”
He also dabbles in coaching, helping out at his alma mater. “I watch some of these college games and I can’t believe some of the things I see.”
Is coaching in his future? “I’m not sure I want to jump into that arena, but I’m keeping all my options open now.”
Leonard, who is on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Advisory Board, says he has talked to another former Wisconsin star and Lott Trophy finalist, Chris Borland. Borland, of course, made news earlier this year when he retired from the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers after just one season, citing personal concerns about concussions. “Chris is a great guy, one of my all-time favorite Badgers, and I remind him his decision was what was best for him, not an indictment of the NFL.”
Leonard was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 11 of this year. He also runs the Jim Leonhard Skills Camp each June in his hometown of Tony (population 105). The camp is free for pre-high schoolers.