The 2018 NFL draft won’t even play out for another seven weeks or so, but we already have the first official early entry into next year’s draft.
It’s long been expected that Ed Oliver, one of the top defensive players in the country each of his first two seasons at Houston, would be three-and-done with the Cougars. Monday night, Oliver and the football program made that official, with both confirming that the standout rising junior defensive tackle will leave UH at the end of the upcoming season to make himself available for the 2019 NFL draft.
The official announcement is smart on the part of both as it allows each to avoid what would certainly be a barrage of “will you/he or won’t you/he?” questions throughout the season, even as most involved have fully expected this outcome since as early as Oliver’s true freshman season in 2016 — or even before.
“This was a dream of mine coming in,” Oliver said in quotes distributed by the school. “I knew I was going on a business trip, and whether my business trip was three years or four years it just depended on how early I got on the field and how effective I was.”
After a consensus Freshman All-American season that saw him land on numerous first-team All-American squads, Oliver was a consensus All-American in a 2017 season that saw him become the first underclassman to win the Outland Trophy in the 70-year history of the award.
In two seasons, the 6-3, 290-pound Oliver has totaled 39.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He should be a contender for the 2018 Heisman Trophy; whether he will or not remains to be seen.
It’s been a day full of massive news in college football. After word broke that Alabama has offered a 6-foot-7 offensive lineman entering his freshman year of high school, Texas Tech did the Tide one better.
On Sunday, the Red Raiders landed the commitment of 6-foot-11, 345-pound offensive lineman Trevor Roberson.
A 3-star member of the Class of 2019, Roberson also reported offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State and others. He is the sixth member of Kliff Kingsbury‘s 2019 class, and the fourth player to pledge in the past week.
“The crowd was huge, first off. The crowd was amazing,” Roberson told 247Sports of a visit to see the Red Raiders’ loss to Oklahoma State last season. “If there were empty seats, you couldn’t see them. It was tremendous. My favorite part was seeing the players, I love watching those guys play. It’s truly amazing to see how, for me personally, these college athletes started from the same position I did, and you see where they are now. They have a lot of heart. Texas Tech is an amazing school and an amazing program, and I’ve always felt that way about them.”
Roberson hails from Wellington, Texas, a Panhandle town between Amarillo and Norman, Okla. Wellington claims just 2,100 residents, so Roberson may be the biggest thing to come out of his hometown — literally and figuratively.
This is literally some big news: Kiyaunta Goodwin tweeted Sunday that he had been offered a scholarship by Alabama. Normally, we wouldn’t write about a player reporting a single scholarship offer, but this one is different.
Goodwin stands six feet and seven inches, and tips the scale at 370 pounds. He also recently completed eighth grade.
The Louisville native has already been offered by the Bluegrass State’s triumvirate of Kentucky, Louisville and Western Kentucky and took unofficial visits to Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan ahead of last weekend’s Tuscaloosa trek.
While doctors say Goodwin could end up topping seven feet tall, the plan, for now, is to keep him in cleats.
Said former Louisville football player and Goodwin’s trainer Chris Vaughn to Bleacher Report earlier this year: “I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of kids who are genetically blessed, but he’s different. He’s the 1 percent of the 1 percent. I’ve talked with coaches who have told me he’s going to be the No. 1 player in the country and the No. 1 draft pick.”
The majority of players that end up transferring from one school to another probably leave on mostly positive terms with their previous school. In the case of quarterback Joe Burrow, there appear to be absolutely no bitter hostilities left at the table at Ohio State as far as Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer is concerned.
Speaking to the media at a job fair recently at Ohio State, Meyer gave a glowing review of the conversations he had with Burrow and his family before Burrow made his decision to transfer to LSU.
“It was a situation that his last two weeks of spring were excellent,” Meyer said, according to 247 Sports. “I just talked to him the other day and his family, I saw his dad. He’s great. He’s a Buckeye forever and he’s going to go do the best he can at LSU and wish him well and I understand.”
Burrow was officially added to the LSU program last month. Burrow is expected to compete right away for the starting job with the Tigers after undergoing surgery for a broken hand last year. In Columbus, Meyer just named Dwayne Haskins as the starting quarterback for Ohio State this season.
Washington State head coach Mike Leach remains one of the most intriguing coaches to follow on Twitter simply because you never know what to expect to pop up on his timeline. On Sunday evening, Leach shared a video of former President Barack Obama in an attempt to open a dialogue about government. The biggest problem with that was the fact the video had been heavily edited to omit major portions of the speech Obama was giving, and the trimmed down quotes pulled together offer a different meaning.
The tweet in question, which remains standing on Leach’s timeline as of Monday morning (UPDATE: The tweet has been removed from Leach’s account);
As quickly as Leach started receiving blowback from people on Twitter for sharing an edited video clip that fits a political narrative that contrasts the fuller context of the speech, Leach went on a tweet and retweet frenzy defending his attempt to spark a conversation.
The video may not be false, but it has been documented to be missing large portions of the original speech the doctored video used as a source.
Whether the video was doctored or not never seemed to be something Leach was concern3d about, as he was more focused on the lines that were recited. Whatever the reasoning for sharing the video, Leach sure found a way to keep busy on Twitter as he defended his original tweet.
Whether you agree or disagree with Leach and his political views, there is no questioning he is up for a discussion at any time.
UPDATE: Wouldn’t you know it, but literally seconds after this post was originally published, Leach tweeted a link to the full Obama speech.
UPDATE NO. 2: The controversial tweet has now been removed from Leach’s account.