It was never going to be an easy goodbye.
The struggle goes both ways, but each side knows it’s what’s best.
We just weren’t ever ready for the end.
Ed Oliver has blessed Houston with the three best seasons that a defensive player will play ever for the program, but the end is finally here. The Cougars star has announced he won’t play in the bowl game to focus on the NFL Draft.
From the minute he stepped on campus, Ed Oliver was going to be a star. It was just a matter of how big he would get. A relentless motor and need to represent his city forced his spotlight to grow every play. You simply don’t see a motor and loyalty like Oliver displays everyday. Especially at defensive tackle.
In just 32 games, Oliver produced 192 tackles, 53 for loss, 13.5 sacks, 11 passes defended, and five forced fumbles. AS A DEFENSIVE TACKLE! Think about what that could have meant if he stayed another year.
Those who watched Oliver grow over the last few years know that his production isn’t the thing that makes him special. It’s his path to greatness that does.
In a world that promotes riding a wave, it’s rare to see someone start their own. College football isn’t any different. Many top recruit wants to join the big programs to write their own story, only to realize their “just another guy” at their school. Some transfer, others stick it out and are never heard from again. It’s unique to see a blue chip truly start his own wave. Ed Oliver didn’t want to be another statistic. He wanted to be in his own category, and we may never see another like him.
Ed lived up to all of the hype and more. He entered the starting lineup essentially when he stepped on campus, and exploded onto the college football scene immediately. He was the best player on the field against every opponent Houston played in his three years on campus, and his play backed that up. Ask Arizona. Ask Texas Tech. Ask Oklahoma.
Double and triple teams came his way on a regular basis, but that never stopped him. Oliver’s motor wouldn’t allow him to be denied for too long, and he single-handedly changed offensive coordinators game plans.
If you think this decision was easy for Ed, it wasn’t. Ed loved this city and was proud to wear it on his chest every Saturday. The game against Memphis showed how difficult it was for him to realize that the end was here.
. @UHCougarFB gonna fall to Memphis, trailing, 52-31, 1:50 left, thus will not play in AAC title game. DT Ed Oliver returned to play after a 4-game absence (knee), but didnt play in the 2ndH. Cougars will await bowl announcement. Oliver very emotional in 4thQ. pic.twitter.com/miSoflmbDa— Adam Wexler (@KPRC2AdamW) November 23, 2018
Endings are tough when one has so much invested. Both Houston and Oliver know this now, but they didn’t realize it because they were enjoying the ride.
Ed Oliver didn’t just change Houston, he made an impact on college football. He showed that you don’t need a Power 5 program to a achieve your dreams. Writing your own legacy should be something more recruits choose, because Oliver proved how special those stories can be. Don’t let anyone dictate what you can and can’t do, because Houston witnessed what one man can do for a program by himself.
There isn’t a great way to say goodbye to an Ed Oliver.
You don’t just move on like nothing happen, because he gave you memories for a lifetime. He had college football fans all over the country talking about Houston. NFL scouts graded him out as a first round draft pick. His stats and accolades speak for himself.
Whatever the future holds for Mr. Oliver, he will always have the greatness he produced with the Cougars. Houston loved him, and he loved Houston. Ed, we will always enjoy your time on campus, and we know you’re going to do great things no matter where you go.