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Photo by Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Oklahoma State Football

Collin Oliver With the Best PFF Season Grade of Any True Freshman Edge Rusher

January 24, 2022

STILLWATER – It was just a week ago that Collin Oliver was on a national Zoom conference as a finalist for the Football Writers Association of America Freshman of the Year. The 6-2, 240-pound Oliver came right out of Edmond Santa Fe High School with plenty of hype and unlike so many big-time football recruits that logically take time to adjust and for their game in college to work up to the hype, Oliver exceeded the hype.

He came out in the spring and showed that he would play early. He did, and he started his first game in the second conference game at home against Baylor. In that game he made the play at the end that sealed the Oklahoma State victory.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Collin Oliver with a sack against Baylor.

“He was very mature for his age and he enrolled in our program early and went through our offseason program and our spring ball,” defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements said of Oliver’s quick rise to what he achieved as a freshman. “It was easy and apparent that this young man has special abilities. He has achieved a lot of accolades and we led the nation in sacks and he led our team in sacks.”

Oliver showed up in an ESPN Plus story on the top players by grade from Pro Football Focus this season. The ESPN story featured the top graded player in college at each position, the top true freshman by grade at each position, and then the biggest surprise player at each position.

At edge rusher, Michigan All-American Aidan Hutchinson was the top grade overall. The 6-6, 265-pound pass-rusher earned an FBS-leading 94.5 PFF grade in 2021. The top surprise player was from the Big 12. Felix Anudike-Uzomah was one of the biggest surprises of this season. The 6-3, 255-pound edge defender earned an 89.9 pass-rush grade as he racked up 43 pressures along with 11 sacks in 2021.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Collin Oliver with a sack against Oklahoma.

Just a freshman, Oliver earned a 77 PFF grade in his first season. He made the biggest dent in the pass rush, generating 40 pressures on 233 reps. He finished with 11.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss. That was half a sack better than Anudike-Uzomah.

Oliver is excited about what can happen on the Oklahoma State defensive line next season with six of the top eight players from the defensive line this season returning plus defensive end and fellow Santa Fe alumnus Trace Ford back from a knee injury that kept him out this past season.

“We are going to have a lot of dudes with experience coming back. Trace, Brock, and Brendon, that is what excites me most that we have so much experience. I need to add a lot to my pass rush arsenal and strength and get that conditioning up and that is what is most important. Working on everything we do and then it should come more natural and easier next season.”

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