Making the Rounds

Oliver is one of the state's best arms

There were spectators of all sorts sitting in the bleachers on Saturday afternoon waiting to catch a glimpse of this year's Tigers, and among them was a familiar face.

Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic product Zach Oliver had already been to Death Valley many times, including a trip last month for Junior Day, so as Oliver admitted, this trip served more from a fan’s point of view than a prospect’s. 

“I had a good time,” Oliver said. “I didn’t get a chance to speak to any of the coaches, but I did go on the field before the game and I went to an eligibility seminar. The seminar was pretty cool because it kind of broke down all of the things you need to do before you can get into college. Then I went to the game and ate after. It was a good game and was kind of what I expected. I always enjoy watching football, no matter who is playing.”

What could have changed Oliver’s outlook on Saturday’s festivities is something the 6-foot-4, 227-pound signal caller has been longing for - an offer from LSU. And although there was no scholarship offered on this trip, Oliver is remaining hopeful that there will be one in the future, especially with the growing relationship he has with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

“Coach Crowton and I talk a good bit,” Oliver said. “I just called him to let him know how I did in the Showcase in the Superdome. It was a part of the Dream Makers tour, which is an event that consists of quarterbacks from around the country, and the tour stops in different cities around the country include New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Orlando and others.

“The coaches at each stop select six or seven of the top quarterbacks from each city and then those chosen quarterbacks compete against each other in California,” Oliver continued. “I was one of the top quarterbacks chosen from the New Orleans event so now I’m going to go to California, and if I make that cut [top 7] then I’ll get to go to Maui for what would be equivalent to an Elite 11 camp.”

By looking at Oliver’s statistics from last season, his stellar performance in New Orleans should have not come as a surprise. In 2009, Oliver completed 191-of-308 passes for 2,587 yards and 37 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. Those numbers have already granted him an offer from Northwestern (Ill.), which is currently his top team, as well as numerous letters from schools he had no clue were interested in his services.

“I don’t have any new offers, but I have been receiving letters from some schools that I was not aware was interested in me like Alabama, Auburn, and Mississippi,” Oliver informed. “I’m going to Chicago this Thursday for an unofficial visit to Northwestern to check out the campus and to meet with the coaches. Then I’ll probably go back to LSU for a camp during the summer. If they are going to offer me, I’d expect it to be then.” 

Whether Oliver receives the Tiger offer during camp will surely go a long way in determining where the Baton Rouge native lands at the next level.

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