Oliver Twist Favors Vols

In final analysis the Nyshier Oliver recruiting story can be simply summed up as follows: Irish luck and Notre Dame mystique were no match for Monte magic and Tennessee tradition.

After originally committing to Tennessee in June he de-committed in August and committed to Notre Dame in late September, but he didn't stop thinking about UT or how he'd preferred defense instead of running back which the Irish recruited him to play. Once the coaching change was made he soon received a call from Lane KIffin's staff trying to reconnect with the four-star prospect. He was impressed the skeleton coaching crew took the time to review his game film when he was committed to the Irish.

That led to an invitation and Oliver's decision to revisit Tennessee's campus and meet the new coaching staff. He was particularly interested meeting in meeting defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and finding out what type of role he could fill in the scheme.

However opinion varies on where the 5-11, 185-pound athlete will be most effective. He has 4.4 speed and is an instinctive runner who gets the most out of every carry. He can also catch the ball well and knows what to do with it once it's in his possession. Oliver is an exciting return specialist with quick feet and outstanding open field moves.

As a junior at St. Peter's Prepatory School in Jersey City, N.J., Oliver ran for more than 1,400 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He also intercepted four passes on defense. Among the teams to offer him were Notre Dame, Alabama, Boston College, Georgia, Virginia, Rutgers, Wake Forest and Penn State.

Adding No. 20 ranked safety Nyshier Oliver to a Tennessee class that has already received commitments from No. 21 cornerback Michael Edwards and No. 29 cornerback Eric Gordon. If the Vols could persuade No. 8 Darren Myles to sign on, UT has the makings of a stellar secondary for the next four years.

Oliver is the Vols 18th commitment and the 10th four-star prospect. Last season Tennessee signed 18 but had just two four-star prospects. The Vols are still looking for their first five-star commitment and they have four slated to visit this weekend.


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