Senator Debbe Leftwich, D-OKC, praised former University of Oklahoma cornerback and Jim Thorpe Award recipient Derrick Strait today on the Senate floor by presenting him with Senate Resolution 36.
The Austin, Texas, native was presented with the nation’s best defensive back award at the ESPN-Home Depot College Football Awards show in early December 2003. The outstanding defensive player also received the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player just days before receiving the Thorpe Award. Strait was also named to the Walter Camp All-American Team.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to present Derrick with this resolution. It only adds to the many awards in his trophy case,” stated Senator Leftwich. “He was a major contributor to the success of the OU football team as well as served as an outstanding role model for Oklahomans, young and old.”
The Jim Thorpe award for the best defensive back in college football was created in 1986. It was conceived by former Oklahoma City talk show host Ed Sossen and Jim Thorpe Association Executive Director W. Lynne Draper. The Association encourages excellence in sports, academics as well as health and fitness. The Jim Thorpe Award is considered as one of the nation’s top collegiate sports honors.
Strait’s statistics during the 2003 college football season were amazing. He was a two-time Big 12 defensive player of the week; he set the OU career records in interception return yards and career tackles as well as led the Big 12 in fumbles recovered, and he placed fourth in the conference in passes defended. Strait had sixty nine tackles, with seven being behind the line of scrimmage.
“Derrick Strait’s great performance during his four years in Oklahoma set the standard for future University of Oklahoma defensive backs,” stated Leftwich. “Sooner fans across the state will miss watching him play every Saturday during the 2004 fall football season.”