Here's the thing you have to remind yourself when watching Houston's Ed Oliver, he's only a freshman. Last year at this time he was walking the halls of Westfield High School in North Houston. Now he's dominating the interior of the defensive line against the biggest baddest men in college football.
He's only a freshman.
We've compared Oliver to Warren Sapp for his explosive ability of the snap, incredible quickness, speed, and power. When he's healthy he's not only unblockable, but if you do keep him out of the pocket he's likely to get his hands up and spike the pass back into the pocket.
This week he became the first freshman named AP First Team All-American in five years. The last freshman was a punter. A punter. Oliver had 19.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, nine passes defensed. Those nine passes defensed were good enough for second on the team. 2nd on the team from the defensive tackle position.
We can't wait to see what Oliver does with a years worth of offseason under his belt.
Other players who merited consideration:
Daeshon Hall Texas A&M: Hall was one of the most disruptive forces in college football from his defensive end position at A&M. While Myles Garrett got the headlines, Hall was the more productive player this season.
Justin Lawler SMU: The defensive end for the Mustangs continues his stellar career on the Hilltop with six sacks, 65 total tackles, fifteen tackles for loss, seven hurries and he blocked two kicks. Lawler may leave SMU has one of the most dominant defensive players in school history.
Eric Jenkins North Texas: Jenkins was the definition of a ballhawk for the Mean Green this year with three picks, thirteen passes defensed and a forced fumble. His two picks against Army set the tone for a huge Mean Green road win.