HOUSTON – Houston sophomore defensive tackle Ed Oliver was a unanimous selection on Sports Illustrated’s Preseason All-American Team, the publication announced Wednesday.
A panel of eight college football experts on SI’s staff all picked Oliver, one of three unanimous selections on the team.
Earlier this summer, Oliver was named the nation’s top defensive player entering the 2017 season by Sports Illustrated.
The Houston native has also appeared on preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Bednarik Award (best defensive player), the Maxwell Award (best player), the Bronko Nagurski Award (best defensive player) and the Outland Award (best lineman).
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.
Oliver is one of five members of the Houston Football program to earn a spot on a preseason awards watch list, joining receiver Linell Bonner (Biletnikoff Trophy), receiver Steven Dunbar (Wuerffel Trophy), center Will Noble (Rimington Trophy) and quarterback Kyle Allen (Unitas Award).