Junior to Watch: Paul Oliver
School: Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison
Size and speed: Oliver is 6-foot and 185 pounds. He has been timed at 4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash to go along with his 255-pound bench-press and 385-pound squat. He also has a 37-inch vertical leap.
Statistics: Oliver had nine interceptions and 50 tackles last season. He helped his team to the second round of the state playoffs. As a sophomore, he helped guide Harrison to the state championship game.
Honors: Oliver was a first team Class 5A selection on defense.
Favorite Schools: You name the school in the ACC, Big East and SEC and Oliver is getting mail from them. However, it’s a local school that has caught his early attention with a scholarship offer – Georgia. He also lists Texas as a team that interests him.
Skinny: You can usually tell when a player is one of the state’s elite early on when the in-state school offers an early scholarship offer.
So when Georgia offered a scholarship to Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison standout Paul Oliver early on in the recruiting process, you just knew that he is something special.
“I get excited every time I think about it,” Oliver said. “I was so tempted to jump on the early offer from Georgia. But I decided that I’m not going to commit until this summer.
“But Georgia is going to be tough to beat. The coaching staff is great and the tradition is amazing. I went to a game this year and there were 90,000 people there in red and black.”
But don’t mark Oliver down as a Georgia commitment quite yet. He said he’s going to savor the recruiting process for the next few months and enjoy the national attention that he’s going to get.
“I’m even getting stuff from Texas,” he said. “I know that’s a long way from home, but I’ve been watching them on TV for the past few years and like their style.”
So why are all of these teams hot on his trail?
“I think it’s because I’m an aggressive cornerback back,” he said. “I play both ways in high school, but I’m going to be a corner in college. That’s what I want. I get to show my athletic ability there. I love being aggressive and love to cover man-to-man.”
But most importantly, Oliver loves football and it’s his love of the game that can help make him even better over the next few months.
“I love football,” he said. “I’ve not missed a day in the weight room in my three years in high school, and when I’m not in there, I’m at track practice. My goal is to be the best – and I know the only way to do that is with hard work.”
Sounds like the perfect formula for success.