Strait wins America's most coveted defensive honor

Oklahoma senior cornerback Derrick Strait was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night in Charlotte, N.C. The Nagurksi Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's best overall defensive player. The Austin native has started more games than any other Sooner in the history of Oklahoma Football. (AP Photo/Tony Guiterrez)

As a senior in high school Derrick Strait was told he wasn't good enough to earn a scholarship offer from his hometown college. But five years later, the Austin, Texas native has gone from being rejected by the University of Texas to the nation's best defensive player.

Strait, who has started more games in the history of Oklahoma football than any other player, was named the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which goes to the nation's best overall defensive player, Monday night at a ceremony in Charlotte, N.C.

The Nagurski Trophy was first handed out in 1993 and was established to compliment the Heisman Trophy Award, which had never been presented to a defensve player at that time.

Strait recorded 69 tackles and three interceptions this season and joins former Sooner Roy Williams as the only Sooners to be awarded the coveted trophy.

Strait won the award over fellow Sooner Tommie Harris, West Virginia linebacker Grant Wiley, UCLA defensive end Chad Ball and LSU defensive tackle Chad Lavalais. Other past notable winners include Warren Sapp (1994), Charles Woodson (1997), Champ Bailey (1998), Roy Williams (2001) and Terrell Suggs (2002).


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