Oliver, St. Edward Have High Expectations

It won't be long now before the start of the 2006 high school football season and on the day before the start of the official two-a-day practice sessions in Ohio, Gary Housteau caught up with Nate Oliver, the very first player to commit to the 2007 recruiting class at Ohio State, to discuss his senior campaign ahead and conduct a photo session with him at St. Edward High School.

The expectations at St. Edward High School are tremendous this season and no one is aware of that as much as Nate Oliver, Ohio State's very first recruit for class of 2007.

"Everyone at St. Ed's knows that this is probably the best class that has come through St. Edward," Oliver said. "They're expecting us to win the state championship so there's real high expectations here at St. Edward. And for me, I just want to want to lead our team to the state championship.

"Our schedule is hard but everyone knows that if we play the game like we know how to play it, then we're going to win out."

Oliver, at 6-0 and 200 pounds, is especially excited about his senior season and he knows that a lot of eyes will be on him this year.

"I just love hitting people," he said. "Football is a physical game and I love to hit so come out and see me play. I'm going to be doing a lot of hitting that's for sure. I'm sure I'll have people gunning for."

But at the same time he's very excited knowing that soon he's going to be an Ohio State Buckeye.

"I'm really excited. I can't wait to get down there and be a part of the team," Oliver said. "But Coach Tressel told me to worry about St. Edward right now and once the season is over then I could worry about being a Buckeye."

Oliver has been pretty active on the recruiting circuit. He's spoken with guys like James Scott, Devon Torrence, Daniel Herron, Dane Sanzenbacher and Donnie Evege, among others.

"I was the first one recruited so I just call everybody and let them know how Ohio State is," Oliver said. "If the coaches really want them there then I'll go ahead and talk to them."

But on the day before two-a-days began, Oliver was focused in on the potential of the season ahead.

"My overall goal is just to win a state championship. I don't really have that many personal goals," he said. "If we won a state title here it would be big. We've been so close but yet so far. I don't know. If we win this place is going to go crazy."

St. Edward has never won a state championship and last played for the title in 2003, losing to Cincinnati Elder 31-7.

"I'm really confident. I know that we can make it back there with the talent that we have," Oliver said. "So I'm not worried about it, we just have to stay focused. I can't wait for the season to start."

And when the season is over, he'll allow himself to think more about his future at Ohio State.

"I'm really excited about being a Buckeye but I'm an Eagle now," Oliver said. "That's all I'm really thinking about right now."

Photo Gallery : Nate Oliver

St. Edward principal, Eugene Boyer, with Oliver.

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