- William Wilkerson, RecruitingNation
To gear up for 2013 national signing day, HornsNation’s William Wilkerson is breaking down every commitment in the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class.
Vitals: Wide receiver Jake Oliver, Dallas/Jesuit | 6-foot-4, 203 pounds
Committed: Feb. 15, 2012
ESPN.com grade: 83. Four-star recruit
ESPN.com rankings: No. 31 wide receiver, No. 31 player in the Midlands region, No. 27 player in Texas.
Picked Texas over: Oklahoma, Texas A&M and dozens of other offers
State of the position: The Longhorns lose Marquise Goodwin to graduation but return their top two leading receivers in Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis, who briefly flirted with entering the NFL draft. John Harris and Bryant Jackson will both be upperclassmen but only combined for 10 catches (Jackson had eight) last season. The future of the position lies in the hands of Cayleb Jones, Kendall Sanders and Marcus Jackson; all freshmen in 2012 that should see increased rolls in 2013.
Pros: “Oliver is a savvy, smart player with redeeming qualities, likely as a possession receiver for the next level. He has very good height and size, but just average top end game speed. He shows good short space quickness off the line and it is hard for DBs to get their hands on him. He is quicker than fast and uses tempo within his routes to get open. He does a very good job of setting up DBs within his stem. He drops his weight and is able to tightly get in and out of breaks. He attacks leverage to gain separation, shows good natural instincts on the field and is tough. He will fight for the ball in the air, uses his hands well to get separation from DBs and is a natural pass catcher with very good ball skills and can adjust to the ball in the air with great body control. He plucks the ball out of the air at any position inside or outside the frame of his body. He should develop into a fine red zone target for the next level with his combination of size and strength.” -- ESPN scouting report
Cons: “Speed is his only major issue as a route runner. He can make defenders miss or lower his shoulder, but he lacks the top end speed for the home run though.” -- ESPN scouting report
Similar to/potential role: Cayleb Jones. Like Jones, Oliver doesn’t possess elite speed. What he lacks in that area, he more than makes up for in an understanding of the position and how to use his bigger frame to pluck the ball out of the air effortlessly.
Expected impact: 2013. He’ll make a bigger impact in 2014 but it’s hard to imagine someone as successful as he has been not at least getting a shot to prove he can make an immediate impact. Third down and red-zone situations could be his specialty.