Rocky Mountain High graduate Khalil Oliver announced his verbal commitment to a full-ride football scholarship from Missouri on Thursday.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound safety announced he planned to leave Oregon in the fall and pursue other opportunities as a graduate transfer. Oliver said he chose Missouri over offers from Montana, Montana State and FBS runner-up Georgia, which called this week with a blueshirt offer.
Blueshirts can practice with the team for a year but can’t play in games.
“That is a great opportunity,” Oliver said of Georgia. “But I knew what I wanted, and so it’s just nice to finally have it done.”
Oliver visited Missouri last weekend and said the honesty and frankness of the Tigers coaching staff sold him on the program.
“They didn’t sugarcoat things,” Oliver said. “They kept it upfront with me, and that showed me a lot. When you have a coach who’s willing to sit in front of you and tell you exactly what you need to hear and not what you want to hear, it’s a lot easier to make a decision.”
Oliver will head to Missouri this summer after finishing his bachelor’s degree in general sciences, with a minor in chemistry, at Oregon. Missouri is in immediate need of help at safety with starting free safety Anthony Sherrils lost to graduation. The Tigers also suspended starting strong safety Kaleb Prewett indefinitely two weeks ago for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to come in and make an impact right away,” Oliver said. “But it’s like anything. Nothing is guaranteed. I’m ready to come in and earn whatever I get there.”
The former 5A SIC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team 5A All-Idaho defensive back made 73 tackles in 26 games at Oregon. He started seven games in 2016 and started the Ducks’ 2017 season opener against Southern Utah before a high ankle sprain in the first quarter sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Oliver will transfer to Missouri as a redshirt senior but said he plans to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt due to his injury and earn another year of eligibility.
Oliver said he enjoyed his time at Oregon and that transferring was just a business decision.
“I love Oregon, and I love the opportunity (former head coach Mark) Helfrich and (former defensive backs coach John) Neal gave me,” Oliver said. “But after looking at how things were going, I just thought it was better for me to try to get this year back and transfer.”
Missouri went 7-6 last season, including 4-4 in the SEC East, and finished the year with a 33-16 loss to Texas in the Texas Bowl.