Big 12 Football: Top 5 Candidates to win Defensive Player of the Year

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Nov 15, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive end Eric Striker (19) sacks Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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Eric Striker

OLB, Oklahoma

Eric Striker may have been a victim to his own success last year. The Sooners outside linebacker/heat seeking missile had three sacks and the game-clinching forced fumble in the Sugar Bowl win against Alabama two seasons ago and expectations were sky-high last year when he only had nine sacks.

The numbers may have been a disappointment for those who were anticipating him to play like he did against Alabama all year, but he still managed to finish fourth in the Big 12 in sacks and tied for third in the conference with 17 tackles for loss. He’s the best pure pass rusher in the conference and will have to make his presence known in games against TCU and Baylor to be the first OU player since Frank Alexander split the award in 2011.

Next: Shawn Oakman