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Top NFL Draft Prospect, Houston DT Ed Oliver to Skip Bowl Game, Focus on Draft

Houston's Ed Oliver will liklely be a top-ten pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, a likely top choice in the 2019 NFL draft, announced on Friday he will sit out the Cougars' upcoming bowl game to focus on preparation for his pro career. 

Oliver last played for Houston in the Cougars 52-31 loss to Memphis on Nov. 23. He aggravated a previous knee injury in the defeat. Oliver missed four-straight contests before the loss to Memphis. 

STAPLES: Ed Oliver Is College Football's Ultimate Boss

Oliver played three seasons at Houston. This season, the 6'3", 292-pound lineman tallied 51 total tackles, including 13.5 for losses and three sacks.

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Oliver was named a first-team All-American in each of the past two seasons. He was also awarded the 2017 Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best college football interior lineman. 

In June, Oliver was ranked No. 1 in Sports Illustrated's Top 100 College Football Players of 2018. Following the 2018 NFL draft, SI's Connor Orr listed Oliver as one of the top pass rushing prospects featured in the upcoming class, comparing him to former Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.

During an offseason interview with SI's Andy Staples, Oliver said he would not sit out his junior year in order to preserve his body ahead of playing in the NFL. He made good on the promise, appearing in seven games in 2018.