The Texas Longhorns need a big, strong possession receiver and appear to have found one in Dallas (Texas) Jesuit signee Jake Oliver, who inked with the 'Horns on Wednesday.
A 2013 US Army All-American and participant in The Opening, Oliver is a consensus four-star prospect ranked as the No. 21 wide receiver nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings, as well as No. 22 in the state of Texas. The 6'4, 200-pounder held offers from Arkansas, Baylor, California, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.
Here's the evaluation of Oliver from the Colleyville Heritage SQT last summer:
The 6'4, 200-pound Texas commit hasn't grown noticeably stronger in the last year, but did show off the same skillset that made him a standout at last summer's state tournament. There will always be concerns about his speed until he can prove that he can separate in college, but in high school, he uses the speed that he does have effectively, as he changes speeds to set up defensive backs and runs crisp, clean routes to create the necessary separation of his breaks.
When the ball goes get in his vicinity, Oliver makes the play the vast majority of the time. He has sure hands, catches the ball away from his body inside his frame and can also extend outside of his frame. In addition, the leaping ability he used on the game-winning touchdown catch against Guyer allows him to make plays over smaller defensive backs, while his body control almost allowed him to bring in an extremely difficult pass along the sideline in the endzone, even though he was ruled out of bounds.
At The Opening, Oliver missed some time with a concussion and wasn't a standout when he was healthy. On one particular play, he tried to run past Ohio State commit Cameron Burroughs on a fly route and the big, strong cornerback wasn't having it, eventually intercepting the pass after Oliver failed to create separation.
When the Jesuit product was at his best, he was using his double moves to bait cornerbacks to bite on shorter routes and then getting open deep. That route-running ability should translate well to college and help Oliver get open, as will his big body and leaping ability, which could make him a big redzone target.
In all, Oliver is a high-floor prospect with a relatively low ceiling -- the Texas coaches know what they are going to get, and probably will get exactly that, which is a solid college receiver who can move the chains and hit a few big plays over the top on double moves. Oliver is also an outstanding blocker who can use his size, strength, and tenacity to dominate opposing defensive backs. In fact, the Texas signee may be among the best blockers nationally at wide receiver in the 2013 class.
As a senior, Oliver set the state record for career receptions and totaled nearly 1,400 yards on 93 catches, with 18 going for touchdowns.
Recruitment timeline: Oliver was one of the first commitments in the 2013 Texas class in February 2012 and remained firm in his commitment throughout the process.
Jake Oliver #6 ~ Dallas Jesuit ~ 6'4 203 4.53 ~ 2011 Junior Highlights (via fieldhouseusa1)
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