For Hire: Linebacker With a Relentless Motor

EricStriker_v2
Share
Share

Dear All 32 NFL Teams:

I believe that size matters. But I don’t think it’s the height and the weight of a man you measure. I believe it’s the heart. I believe it’s the drive he has every single day when he comes to work.

My name is Eric Striker, and I want to bring an energy and relentlessness to your defense that you’ve never seen before.

At 5-foot-11 and 227 pounds, I have been hearing that I can’t play outside linebacker in the NFL. That my production at Oklahoma can’t carry over. That I’m just too small.

That’s O.K. I’m used to being doubted. I’m used to being overlooked.

And I’m used to proving people wrong.

It started in high school. As a sophomore, I was a backup. The coaches didn’t think I was ready to be a starting outside linebacker. Then, in the first game of the season, the starter went down with an injury. In Week 2, I started in his place.

In that game, I had two sacks and nine total tackles. I was all over the field. The coaches were like, Man, this guy’s a playmaker. We can’t keep him off the field …

The starting job was mine. And I never gave it up.

I went from being a backup, to ending the season as one of the team leaders with 13 sacks and 103 total tackles. As a three-year starter, I set a school record for career sacks with 42 and as a senior was named a Sports Illustrated first-team All-America.

I was given an opportunity, and I seized it.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Eric Striker #19 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts after sacking AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

I did the same thing my sophomore year at Oklahoma. I went into summer two-a-days as a second-stringer behind a senior. This time, it wasn’t an injury that opened the door for me to shine. I kicked the door down myself, consistently getting into the backfield in practice, getting sacks and forcing fumbles — and doing it from the edge against offensive tackles like Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson, who are now in the NFL.

I remember one play in particular that really opened my coaches’ eyes. It was in the second week of two-a-days, during a full-pads scrimmage, and the offense ran a reverse. The quarterback pitched to the running back, and I got so deep into the backfield so fast that when the back pitched the ball to the wide receiver coming around from the outside, I stepped in between them, caught the pitch myself and took it the other way.

You can’t teach heart. You can’t teach hustle. You can’t teach having a relentless motor that never, ever quits.

As I was running down the field, I could hear coach Stoops behind me, yelling, “Score, Striker! And spike it! Spike that ball, Striker!”

You’re not supposed to spike the ball in college. It’s illegal. But that’s how fired up Coach was. He wanted me to celebrate.

That was the moment when the coaches thought, Man, this guy’s a playmaker. We can’t keep him off the field …

The starting job was mine. And I never gave it up.

I had 46.5 tackles-for-loss and 23 sacks in my three seasons as a starter at Oklahoma. I was named first-team All-Big 12 and third-team AP All-America as a junior and second-team as a senior.

I was given an opportunity, and I seized it.

If you draft me, I’m going to bring a shot of adrenaline to your defense — a shot of energy. I’m a high-motor guy on the field and a high-energy guy in the huddle, in the weight room and on the practice field. There are some things you can’t teach. You can’t teach heart. You can’t teach hustle. You can’t teach having a relentless motor that never, ever quits.

I wake up hyped. My motor is always going. It never stops. I bring a liveliness and a competitive spirit to practice that not only allows me to get the most out of my size and ability, but also lifts my teammates up and pushes them to get the most of of their abilities as well.

That’s what I want to bring to your team.

I have been asked if I would be willing to change positions, maybe move to safety where my size is more suitable for the position. To that, I say, “Bring it.” I’m ready and willing to take the same tenacity and energy that I bring to the field every day and put them into learning a new position — any position at which an NFL team thinks I can contribute. I just want to play the game, hit some people and win.

All I would ask is that every now and then, you throw me back up inside the box and turn me loose on a blitz to get the quarterback. You know, for old times’ sake.

At the end of the day, if you give me an opportunity, I will seize it. If you draft me, I will do something on the field that will make you stop and think, Man, this guy’s a playmaker. We can’t keep him off the field …

It’s what I’ve done at every level.

And I believe I’m ready to do it in the NFL.

Respectfully,
Eric Striker


For more NFL Draft Cover Letters and additional draft coverage, visit our 2016 NFL Draft page.

For Hire: Defensive Weapon Who Is Ready to Work

My name is Emmanuel Ogbah, and I want to be the next leader of your defense.

Read More