Greg Nelson/SI
By Ben Glicksman
November 04, 2014

Music has always played a prominent role in Eric Striker’s life. The Oklahoma junior linebacker watched a made-for-TV movie on the Temptations when he was in third grade, and fandom soon morphed into fixation. He learned the lyrics to every song, and he still keeps a DVD of their live performances in his college apartment.

His musical library has since expanded. He discovered Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Barrett Strong and Teddy Pendergrass. During his career at Armwood (Fla.) High, Striker was known for commandeering the locker-room iPod; he even memorized the dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and performed it in front of his teammates.

GLICKSMAN: Breaking the mold: How Eric Striker came into his own

Striker now prides himself on listening to everything from Frank Sinatra to Curtis Mayfield to his all-time favorite rapper, Jay Z. To give SI a better taste of his preferences, Striker put together a playlist featuring some of his favorite tracks.

*Warning: Explicit language in several of these songs.

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