Houston just opened spring practice on Monday and star defensive lineman Ed Oliver has already declared for the 2019 NFL draft.
“I do plan on leaving,” Oliver told reporters. “I wish I could stay another year, but it’s my time to go.”
Oliver would have been a top pick if he’d been eligible for the draft this year but will have to settle for the 2019 draft, where’s projected as possibly the No. 1 pick.
Oliver has astonishing athleticism for a 290-pound interior lineman, with the speed to chase down running backs from behind. He won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman in 2017, becoming the first freshman or sophomore to win the award. He was also a finalist for the Nagurski Award as the top defensive player in the nation but lost to NC State’s Bradley Chubb, a likely top-five pick in this year’s draft.
Oliver may have made up his mind regarding his future but he isn’t looking past college just yet. He said Monday that he hopes to win the Heisman Trophy this year.