Senior Texas Longhorns wide receiver Jake Oliver will give up his final season of eligibility to pursue his future career, he told ESPN on Monday before the school later confirmed the news with a statement.
“I have enjoyed every second of being on this team and will always be a Longhorn for life,” he said. “In the last four years, I have built friendships that I will always cherish. It’s just time for me to move on and take on a new challenge in life. I’m really excited for the change but I will miss football like crazy. This team is really good and I know they’re gonna win a lot of games.”
In his statement released by the school, Oliver noted that he has already earned his degree and has an employment opportunity set up. The 6’23, 215-pounder was a member of the Big 12 Commission’s Honor Roll last spring.
Oliver appeared in 19 games for Texas over the last two seasons, including four starts in 2016.
After a promising high school career at Dallas Jesuit that resulted in Oliver breaking Jordan Shipley’s career receptions record in the state and ultimately included 4, 567 yards receiving and 56 touchdowns. His production earned his a handful of high-profile offers, an invite to the 2013 US Army All-American game, and a ranking among the top-200 prospects in the nation.
However, Oliver did not make an impact early in his career — he redshirted in 2013, didn’t see game action in 2014, then contributed some on special teams in 2015 with two tackles.
With the installation of former offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s veer-and-shoot system last year, however, Oliver emerged as a contributor in the slot, where his size and steady hands made him a favored third-down target for then-freshman quarterback Shane Buechele.
In total, Oliver caught 10 passes on third down and finished fifth on the team with 33 receptions for 358 yards.
Not a bad finish for a career that appeared stalled over three seasons. And given his opportunity, it’s not a surprise to see him move on.
Hook ‘em, Jake.