- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Hamilton (Ohio) inside linebacker Marcus Oliver was set to give the coaches at Miami a call this weekend. He was set to commit to the RedHawks. Oliver called all of the other coaching staffs recruiting him that he was still hoping to get an offer from, specifically Indiana. The Hoosiers coaches told him to do what is in his best interest.
But then the Hoosiers had a change of mind. Indiana offered the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Oliver late this week while Oliver talked with linebackers coach Mike Ekeler.
“He said Coach [Kevin] Wilson said to do what’s best for me and commit to Miami,” Oliver said. “Then he was on the phone with somebody talking to another recruit and he’s asking who he could get for defense and he said my name came up again and it’s always coming up.”
The Hoosiers were a little curious as to why Oliver had offers from only Miami and FCS Eastern Illinois and hesitant to become Oliver’s first BCS offer. While it took until an impending commitment to Miami for the Hoosiers to offer, Oliver did not take offense.
“It was pretty exciting. Coach Ekeler’s been telling me he’s wanted me forever and if it was up to him he’d offer,” he said. “It’s not like I’m Coach Ekeler’s second choice or anything. It was crazy how it happened.
“Things have a weird way of happening.”
With the offer, Oliver visited the Hoosiers for the fifth time for Saturday’s game. It was the third game Oliver has visited for this season.
“I love the campus. It’s a real nice campus,” he said. “Coach Ekeler is a great guy.”
Cincinnati offered Oliver a grayshirt opportunity Tuesday after recently visiting Toledo when it hosted the Bearcats. Coach Butch Jones gave Oliver a call.
“They said they want to find a way to get me into the program,” Oliver said. “He said all the spots are taken but wants to find a way whether it’s a grayshirt or someone leaving early. He said I’d be the first [to get a scholarship].”
With all this happening this week, Oliver has not thought much of whether he will take a full offer or Cincinnati’s grayshirt option as he’s always favored the Bearcats living so close to Cincinnati. With the Indiana offer, however, Oliver has a lot to think about.
“They’ve probably been in my top two or three the whole time,” he said. “Cincinnati is my favorite from the beginning of all the recruiting stuff, but I’ve come to like Indiana.
“I don’t really have a top one right now.”
A commitment will come “as soon as possible,” Oliver said.
549dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert