Khalil Oliver to Oregon: Rocky Mountain defensive back finally decides

rroberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Rocky Mountain High School celebrates National Signing Day. Khalil Oliver signs to play football at Oregon


— Khalil Oliver is finally going to get a little peace and quiet - just as soon as the congratulatory calls and texts stop rolling in.

After more than a month of hype, speculation and endless inquiries, the Rocky Mountain High defensive back made his decision official, signing his national letter of intent Wednesday morning to play football for the University of Oregon.

"It was getting pretty crazy toward the end. I was getting a whole bunch of calls," Oliver said. "I just had to stop responding to people because different things would get out. I had to take a step back."

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior originally gave a commitment to Boise State last March, but re-opened his recruiting after coach Chris Petersen left for Washington.

"I got a lot of rude comments, but at the same time, it was also a great experience to go through what a lot of college athletes go through in the first place. ... I enjoyed every bit of it," he said.

On Wednesday in Rocky Mountain's auditorium, Oliver announced his decision by removing his sweatshirt to reveal an Oregon T-shirt. He then pulled a Ducks hat out of his backpack and put it on.

"I was very nervous," he said. "We didn't really even plan out when I was going to do it. It kind of just happened."

Said Kelly Goodwin, Oliver's mom: "This huge boulder is off of our shoulders, and now we can go and buy Oregon Ducks stuff."

Oliver spent the past month taking official visits to Boise State, Oregon and Washington, and also received in-home visits from all three programs.

The Ducks left a lasting impression on Oliver during his visit to Eugene. They also gave him a chance to compete in track and field. Oliver is the reigning 5A state champion in the 110-meter hurdles.

"As soon as I got there and I started seeing the environment around the school, I fell in love with it," he said. "... It was also good to see that the more well-known players at Oregon still care about the redshirt freshmen and the freshmen on the team. They know their names, they're talking to them, they are hanging out at their house playing Xbox with them."

Oliver was among 24 Grizzlies to sign Wednesday. The list of destinations includes BSU, USC, Oregon State, Oregon and Michigan State.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422; Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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