Lake Brantley senior defensive end Noah Oliver got the break he was looking for when the mail came Wednesday. He received an official scholarship offer from FIU, his first from a Football Bowl Subdivision-member school.
“I’m really excited about it and I hope it opens a bunch of opportunities for other FBS scholarship offers,” said the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Oliver.
Oliver, who enters his second season as a starter for the Patriots, also has offers from Football Championship Subdivision schools Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman and defending FCS national champion North Dakota State. NDSU has been hitting Florida quite hard after luring Orlando Timber Creek safety Chris Board in the 2013 Bison signing class.
Oliver is being recruited by FIU assistant coach Kort Shankweiler, the Panthers' Orlando-area recruiter, who likes what he sees in Oliver.
“He just said I fit in perfectly with what they are doing there and they wanted me to be part of their system,” said Oliver, who has yet to make a trip to the Miami school, but he’s looking to do so in the near future.
“I really want to go [visit] there. I’m going to call the coach soon to see when I can get down there,” Oliver said . “I was surprised at first [by the offer], but they were sending a bunch of mail to me.”
The last piece of mail, however, was the one with the offer, which Oliver said means a lot more to him than a verbal offer.
“It means a lot to me, because I know it’s official and I know that it’s an actual offer from the school,” he said.
Oliver will be looking to earn more offers as the season progresses. He has also had conversations with coaches at USF.
“They said they will check me out during the season and they really liked me when I went to camp there,” Oliver said. “They are going to keep a close eye on me to see if they want to offer me.”
Brantley is coming off a 9-2 season in which the Patriots won their Class 8A district title, but then lost to Neptune Beach Fletcher in the playoffs for the second straight season.
Oliver is a quick, long rush end who uses his speed to get around bigger offensive tackles.
"I'd say my quickness is one of my strengths and that I am able to shed blockers pretty well," Oliver said.
He is the third member of the Brantley squad to earn an FBS scholarship offer, joining LB Chris DeLarosa, who has committed to Georgia Southern, the same school that has also offered OL Gage Bostwick.
“Everything is looking very good this year,” Oliver said. “I have a bunch of confidence in the team and we’re going to do a lot of big things this year.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, CT Now