This time, Oliver selects Notre Dame St. Peter's Prep standout gives commitment to Irish, after first picking Tennessee
Oct 21, 2008 | 1526 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Nyshier Oliver was growing up, he always dreamed of playing college football for his favorite team, the University of Tennessee.

So last spring, when the Volunteers' coaching staff offered the St. Peter's Prep standout running back/defensive back a scholarship, Oliver was quick to accept it, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

But then Oliver started thinking. Maybe he was too hasty in his decision. Maybe he should have given other schools a closer look.

So in August, Oliver decided to recant the verbal commitment he gave to Tennessee and open up the recruiting process to a host of other schools, including Tennessee.

One of the other schools that entered the mix was the University of Notre Dame.

"I just had to take the football aspect out of the decision," Oliver said. "I can't play football forever. I had to find a place that was better suited for me academically and for football. I went in blindly the first time."

So last month, when the Fighting Irish was slated to face Michigan in its annual rivalry contest, Oliver flew to South Bend, Ind. for his official visit.

"It blew me away," Oliver said. "I met the coaching staff, with Coach [Charlie] Weis leading the way. It was a great visit."

While in South Bend, Oliver also met Notre Dame assistant coach Bernie Parmalee, a Jersey City native who played high school football at Lincoln.

"It was great to meet him as well," Oliver said. "It definitely helped me knowing he was from Jersey City."

So after taking his visit to Notre Dame, Oliver gave the Irish coaching staff a verbal commitment.

Come February, Oliver will sign his national letter of intent with Notre Dame, not Tennessee. This time, the decision is etched in stone. There will be no turning back now.

"I'm sure now," Oliver said. "I made the right choice. I won't change my mind again."

And while the Volunteer coaching staff was recruiting Oliver as a defensive back, the Irish coaches have different plans for him.

"They said that I was going to play slot receiver there," Oliver said. "I'm really not set on any position. I just want to play wherever I can get on the field the fastest."

When Oliver arrives at Notre Dame next fall, he will find a familiar face among the Irish's receiving corps, namely former Hoboken All-American Duval Kamara, who is a sophomore for the Irish and has been a starter at wide receiver for the last two seasons.

"That helped also," Oliver said of Kamara's presence there.

Weis, a native of New Jersey, has done an incredible job this year in recruiting some of the Garden State's top players, securing the services of four top Jersey products. Along with Oliver, Carlo Calabrese of Verona, Theo Riddick of Immaculata and Tyler Stockton of the Hun School have already given verbal commitments to Weis and his staff.

"It's good to know that there will be other guys from New Jersey out there with me," Oliver said. "It's just a good feeling to get the decision out of the way and now I can concentrate on playing football."

Oliver has been nursing a sore hamstring that kept him out of action for the Marauders' second game of the season, a 27-14 loss to Our Lady of Good Counsel of Maryland. Oliver has seen limited action the last two weeks, both Marauder victories, but he should be back to 100 percent in time for the Marauders' contest with Union City High School this weekend.

"I feel good and I've been getting ready the last two weeks," Oliver said. "I'm getting healthy."

Oliver, who was the Hudson Reporter Offensive Player of the Year last fall, rushing for more than 1,400 yards and scoring 22 touchdowns, said that he was excited about making the decision to go to such a prestigious school as Notre Dame, a place where former Prep defensive back Leo Ferrine also went.

"There have been a lot of great football players who have gone there," Oliver said. "It's pretty exciting that they wanted me to be part of that. I've met Leo a couple of times and I know him. It's good to know that I can carry that Prep tradition to Notre Dame."

Oliver was asked if he was happy with the way the recruiting process ended for him.

"Yeah, I'm really happy," Oliver said. "Things worked out for the best." - Jim Hague
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