Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver’s up-and-down junior season is officially over.
He confirmed Friday what he had announced before the season, that he will he forgo his senior season, but added that he’ll skip the Cougars’ bowl game this year, too.
“I knew one day I would be leaving the University of Houston football program so that I could realize a dream of playing at the next level,” Oliver posted on Twitter. “Well today is that day. After serious consideration, I have decided not to play in the 2018 Bowl Game so that I can immediately begin training for the upcoming draft.”
Excited for the next chapter pic.twitter.com/oAXrxeADKm
— Ed Oliver (@Edoliver_11) November 30, 2018
Oliver, who entered the 2018 college season projected as one of the top picks in the 2019 draft, has seen his stock potentially take a hit.
Though he’s still considered an early first-round pick, he has missed time this season with a knee injury and experienced some off-field drama stemming from a sideline run-in with coach Major Applewhite.
Still, Oliver is a quick, disruptive interior defender with pass-rush skills who is listed at 6-3, 292 pounds.
In eight games in 2018, Oliver had 54 total tackles, 14 1/2 for losses. He also had three sacks and one forced fumble.
Those numbers pale in comparison to an All-America and Outland Trophy-winning sophomore season in which he had 73 tackles and led Houston in tackles for loss (16 1/2), sacks (5 1/2), quarterback hurries (seven) and forced fumbles (two).
He burst onto the scene by starting 13 games as a true freshman and making multiple All-America teams.