Prepping For The Next Level

Nyshier Oliver certainly enjoyed the clinic that Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate put on at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.

In Notre Dame's 49-21 victory over Hawaii, Clausen threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns, with Tate catching six passes for 177 yards and three of those scores.

Oliver, who says he already feels like he is part of the Notre Dame program, sees himself doing big things in the Irish's offense.

Tate's performance particularly excited the 5-foot-11, 175-pound four-star receiver from Jersey City, N.J.

"It was amazing to watch the offense clicking on all cylinders like that," Oliver said. "It was a good Christmas Eve. Me and my family watched Notre Dame look like the Notre Dame of old.

"It was great."

After helping lead St. Peter's Prep to the state semifinals this past season, Oliver quickly turned his attention to getting prepared for Notre Dame shortly after the season. Having played running back all through high school, Oliver knows he has a lot of work to do in getting ready for the Irish's summer workouts and fall camp.

"It's all new to me," Oliver said. "I have to just learn step by step."

Four days a week, Oliver works with Odessa Turner. Turner played seven seasons in the NFL as a receiver, suiting up for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Turner also has a son, Oderick Turner, who plays receiver for Pittsburgh.

"He's showing me how to run my routes and teaching me wide receiver savvy things," Oliver explained.

"He said my potential is through the roof right now. He said I have quick feet and I'm one of the fastest quickest kids he's worked with."

Besides working with Turner, Oliver has a strength coach, and is also working on his speed and explosiveness.

Oliver realizes that before he knows it, he'll be in South Bend taking classes. He's not the only one that feels that way.

"I've been talking to guys like Carlo (Calabrese) and Theo (Riddick), and a lot of guys. We've been hitting it off well, and getting prepared to go down."

One player who's already gone down is fellow New Jersey product Tyler Stockton, who enrolled early to Notre Dame.

"He said it's just cold, but other than that he's doing well," Oliver said.

Back in December, Oliver and his parents hosted Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis for dinner.

"Coach Weis is a cool guy," Oliver said. "Down to earth. Really straight forward. It was a good visit.

"He made comments about how he used to coach at Franklin Township, and was around a lot, and owned a house in Jersey. He knows a lot about Jersey and that was a good connection."

Weis also mentioned to Oliver he loves recruiting Jersey kids.

"He told me they're hard-nosed like him."

Oliver agrees.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories