Family Values

Nate Oliver enjoyed his official visit to Ohio State this weekend. He got to hang out with the players and incoming recruits, tour the new facilities, watch the bowl game practice, and talk with the coaches who he considers to be like an extension of his family. four-star prospect Nate Oliver, a 6-foot-0, 195-pound safety from St. Edward High in Lakewood, Ohio was the first prospect to issue a verbal commitment to Ohio State back in February on signing day. This weekend he was on campus for his official visit and the staff got to unroll the red carpet for their first commitment.

"It was fun," Oliver began. "Not a lot of people were there on campus, so it was pretty quiet."

"I got the chance to watch about an hour or so of the bowl game practice. The team was all fired up. I was up there to watch before they knew who their opponent was going to be and they were not nearly s fired up as they are now that they know they are playing Florida."

When Oliver issued his commitment he noted that he would like to have the chance to lead some other top juniors towards the Buckeyes, and this weekend he bonded with a couple of the top uncommitted recruits who were also visiting.

"We all had a good time," Oliver said of the experience with the other recruits. "Josh Brent was there and he was a real nice guy. Ohio State was his first official visit. He said something about visiting Illinois and then making a decision."

"Dionte Allen was also there. I knew Dionte from back in the summer, and he is a real good player. Hopefully he changes his commitment from Florida State to Ohio State, but he will be in a good program no matter where he goes."

"My hosts were Jamario O'Neal on Friday and Thaddeus Gibson on Saturday," Oliver continued. "I know both of them a little bit from last year. They are both really good guys."

"I hear that Thad is doing real good. He red shirted this year, but he has learned a lot about the defense. He has gained like 20 pounds. He is going to be special."

Most of the recruits have noted how nice the new football facilities will be when they are finished, and Oliver is no exception.

"I got to tour the new facilities," he said. "The new weight room is going to be crazy. It is going to be very nice. They are going to have a new players lounge and stuff like that."

Oliver noted that the Buckeyes are tight knit group, and the family feeling was one of the biggest draws for him to make and honor his commitment.

"It is hard to just point out one member of the staff, and say that he is the one I am closest to," Oliver explained. "They are all good people. They really are like a family. Coach (Tim) Beckman was in charge of my recruiting, but I have grown close with all of them."

"If I were telling another recruit about Ohio State I would basically explain to them how it really is like a family. The coaches there really care about you. Thy do not treat you like you are just a piece of meat. Every player knows every other players family and they are close. They all love playing together."

As a junior, Oliver had 70 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two caused fumbles earning All-Ohio honors.

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