Oliver Is In No Hurry

PISCATAWAY, N.J.—If Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano were to sign Nyshier Oliver, the least of his concerns would be to find a roster spot for the St. Peters Prep star. However, Schiano and his coaching staff encounter more than 30 competitors vying for the nationally-recognized high school prospect.

Despite the vast competition, Oliver still places Rutgers among his top 5 schools. The list also includes Michigan, Tennessee, Maryland and the University of Virginia.

Although Oliver has not yet visited Michigan, he still admires the tradition and the potential to play in a national championship.

"A lot of tradition there," he told StateofRutgers.com. "I hear it's a great place. If they win the Big Ten, they are in the National Championship. My coach told me it's a good place, a couple of St. Pete guys in it."

Earlier this month, Oliver and his father visited Tennessee. He shared a few thoughts about possibly playing for the Volunteers.

"That's a great place," he said. "I've been there. The coaches are cool, the tradition. It's a good place."

Oliver also considers Virginia a legitimate option for its academic strength.

"The academics are good," he said about Virginia. "They have one of the top business schools."

Despite falling to intra-state rival Don Bosco in the state championships two of the past three seasons, Oliver remains ambitious about working out with his teammates in the off season and making a second run in his final year.

"My goal is to be a leader and carry the team," he said. "Our team goal is to be hungry and humble and get the job done. I'm gonna work out with my team. It's gonna be a team effort next year, get ready for the season."

Although Oliver remains uncertain about which D-I program to attend, he imparts positive thoughts towards Rutgers.

"I've been to Rutgers a couple of times, for games," he said. "I've been there about 40 times. Rutgers is a great place, close to home, up and coming, they're getting a lot of great kids, there's a lot of great people at Rutgers."

The Scarlet Knights earned their third consecutive bowl appearance last season, ended Ball State's year with a 52-30 romp in the International Bowl and maintained two 2008 NFL draft choices.

Oliver's head coach situates him on both the offensive and defensive side of the field, and for good reason. In his junior season, Oliver rushed for 1,407 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also recorded four interceptions as a defensive back.

"I just try to be a playmaker," Oliver said, humbly.

Oliver admits Rutgers recruits the 5-11 180-pound speedster as a cornerback. Regardless, he will play wherever coaches deem necessary.

"I'll play anything," he said. "I just wanna be on the field. I don't care where I'm at, wherever. It really doesn't matter. I just love to play the game."

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