Jake Oliver has been on the football field most of his life.
The son of Texas A&M receiver and longtime college and high school coach Gary Oliver, Jake has grown up surrounded by the game.
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Thursday in front of family and friends, Oliver was honored as one of the nation's finest as he was presented as a 2013 U.S. Army All-American.
"I feel like it's one of the best honors you can have as a high school football player," Oliver said. "There's so much tradition and so many great players who have played in it. I am truly blessed to show what I can do and be a part of that great tradition."
Oliver remembers first hearing of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at a young age. He remembers watching the best of the best in high school football put their talents on display, and wanting to one day be a part.
The 6-4, 195-pound Jesuit Ranger (Dallas) receiver has certainly proven himself to be more than worthy of All-American status.
He has posted two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons at receiver and is currently only 12 receptions away from breaking the Texas high school career receptions record set by 2004 Army All-American Jordan Shipley.
Oliver, like Shipley, will continue his playing days at the University of Texas. In February, Oliver became the second member of the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class, choosing the Longhorns over offers from the likes of Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan, TCU, and Texas A&M.
"I fell in love with the city of Austin, the coaching staff, the winning tradition, and the fan support," Oliver said. "I just loved it all and I couldn't picture myself going anywhere else."
Several future Longhorns will also be playing Oliver in the Army Bowl. Tyrone Swoopes, Jake Raulerson, A'Shawn Robinson, and Kent Perkins have already been presented their jerseys and Oliver cannot wait to get to work.
"I'm just looking forward to being with all the guys," Oliver said. "Of course being with my future teammates at Texas, I think pretty much all of them are going to be in this game rather than Under Armour. Just being with them, on a team together, will help us form more of a bond and help us move forward."
There is no doubt Oliver is looking forward to taking in all of the Army All-American experience, and still finds it hard to believe he will be suiting up in the Alamodome on Jan. 5 to play in front of a national television audience on NBC.
"I feel like it won't set in until I get out there and practice and see all of the guys," Oliver said. "It's crazy to think that I'm about to be in this game."
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