ATLANTA (FWAA) — Houston sophomore defensive
tackle Ed Oliver was named the recipient of the
72nd Outland Trophy
on Thursday night during The Home Depot College Football Awards
from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Houston native claimed the trophy that goes to the top interior
lineman in college football, as chosen by the Football Writers Association
of America. Oliver is the first Houston player to receive the Outland
Trophy, as well as the first sophomore to win the award since its
inception in 1946. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound tackle was chosen over
finalists Quenton Nelson, a senior offensive guard at Notre Dame,
and Oklahoma junior offensive tackle Orlando Brown.
"Ed Oliver is one of the rising young stars in college football,"
said FWAA President Dave Jones of the PA Media Group. "On the defensive
line he is prolific. He is one of the most aggressive defenders
in college football who some day will be in the National Football
"I'm not surprised. He's the best lineman in college football
- it is not even close," said Houston head coach Major Applewhite.
"Ed is just a tremendous player. He has a lot of great physical
skill. He works to hone those skills every day. He is a technician.
He has a 3.2 GPA over his first semesters and you don't have to
worry about him off the field."
Oliver is the fourth defensive tackle to win the Outland Trophy
since 2007, following Pitt's Aaron Donald (2013), Nebraska's Ndamukong
Suh (2009) and LSU's Glenn Dorsey (2007). A true sophomore in 2017,
Oliver will return next season to the Cougars as a junior. In Atlanta,
he was flanked by Houston head coach Major Applewhite and his brother
Marcus Oliver, a senior starting offensive guard for the Cougars.
Oliver was a second-team FWAA All-American as a freshman and
a member of the FWAA's Freshman All-America Team. He has established
himself as arguably the nation's top defensive player as a sophomore
playing the nose tackle position in the Cougars' three-man front.
Oliver tallied 69 tackles in 11 games despite missing portions of
two games due to injury. He recorded a career-high 14 tackles in
the final game of the regular season against Navy, including a career-high
tying 3.5 tackles for loss.
On the season, Oliver has 5.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, two
forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, three pass breakups and seven
quarterback hurries. Oliver was also one of five finalists for the
FWAA's Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defensive player.
He is the first player from Houston to win the American Athletic
Conference Defensive Player of the Year honor.
"Defensively, it all starts with their defensive tackle, Ed Oliver,
who I think is probably the most impactful player in our conference,
and one of the most impactful defensive linemen in the country,"
said Memphis coach Mike Norvell. "At any of the schools I've coached
at, if we were playing this young man, I'd say he's one of the best
defensive linemen, regardless of conference, regardless of where
they are, he's a phenomenal player. And when you take a phenomenal
player and you surround him with so many other explosive athletes
that can create problems with their defensive scheme, it leads you
to some sleepless nights."
Previously, Oliver was a five-star recruit at Houston's Westfield
High School and was generally regarded as the No. 1 player in the
state of Texas in 2016, choosing the Cougars over Alabama, Baylor,
LSU, Mississippi, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
The Outland Trophy, which has been awarded annually by the FWAA
since 1946, is named after the late John Outland, an All-America
lineman at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. The
Outland Trophy is the third-oldest award in major college football
behind the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award.
For the 21st consecutive year, the Outland Trophy Presentation
Banquet will occur in Omaha on Jan. 10, 2018, and will be sponsored
by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee at the DoubleTree Hotel Downtown.
At the same banquet, the fourth annual Tom Osborne Legacy Award,
sponsored by the Rotary Club of Omaha-Downtown, will be presented
to Florida State coaching legend Bobby Bowden.
Also appearing at the dinner for the 20th straight year will
be the winners of Nebraska's football senior awards – the Tom Novak
Trophy, the Guy Chamberlin Trophy and the Cletus Fischer Native
The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football
Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious
awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 24
awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit ncfaa.org
to learn more about our story.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women who cover
college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters
and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that
involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game
day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For
more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact
Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-870-6516.
The Greater Omaha Sports Committee, founded in 1977, is a 501(c)3
non-profit organization, consisting of more than 900 men and women
from the City of Omaha, the State of Nebraska, and others. The membership
serves to communicate, develop, initiate and promote sports activities
in the Greater Omaha sports area. In addition to the Outland Trophy
Presentation Banquet, the Greater Omaha Sports Committee promotes
high school, college, and professional sports in the Greater Omaha
area and the Midwest.
All-time Outland Trophy
winners and finalists