HOUSTON – Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver continues to be a constant presence on the national scene as preseason watch lists for the Outland and Bronko Nagurski Trophies were announced Thursday and both included the Houston native.
The two awards are presented annually to the nation’s top lineman and the nation’s top defensive player, respectively.
The two mentions double Oliver’s watch list appearances as he was named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, presented annually to America’s College Player of the Year, and the Bednarik Award, presented each season to the College Defensive Player of the Year, on Monday.
Oliver’s preseason list of accolades continues to grow as he was also named the nation’s top defensive player entering the 2017 season by Sports Illustrated.
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A First Team All-American on seven teams as a true freshman, Oliver led all returning defensive linemen nationally with 23 tackles for loss in 2016. He finished second nationally among all positions in tackles for loss last season while leading all defensive linemen nationally with nine pass breakups. The number also led all non-defensive backs in The American and was sixth in the league regardless of position.
The American’s Rookie of the Year, Oliver was also named Scout’s Freshman of the Year and was the winner of the 2016 Bill Willis Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive lineman by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
Playing out of the tackle spot on a three-man line, he was second nationally among all defensive linemen with 47 solo tackles and 13th among all defensive linemen nationally with 66 total tackles.
Oliver’s 66 tackles were second among all freshmen in The American, regardless of position, and led all freshmen defensive linemen nationally. His five sacks led all freshmen in The American. Oliver also led Houston and finished second in The American with three forced fumbles, a number that ranked second nationally among freshmen.