Houston's freshman defensive tackle, along with many teammates, were irritated when Tom Herman accepted the Texas job less than 24 hours after the Cougars lost to Memphis in the season finale.
Moments after news broke of Herman's departure, Oliver tweeted "Why you lie to us coach?" — before immediately deleting it. Later, he joked about "declaring for the draft".
The 19th-ranked recruit in the 2016 class, Oliver committed to Houston in May 2015 and never wavered. He had 19.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, nine passes defended and three forced fumbles, and was named a consensus First-Team All-American. Though talent or production don't give one player any more right to be upset about a coach leaving than another player, it was clearly disheartening to see a coach to which he loyally pledged his services leave after one season.
Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite was promoted to head coach in early December in a move widely applauded by players. In March, Oliver tweeted, "Easily the most energetic practice since i stepped foot on campus." Two days later, he told reporters said practice this year includes "A lot less yelling, and a lot more coaching."
It appears 6-foot-2, 290-pounder is happy with Applewhite and his staff, which would lead one to infer he's still angry with Herman. That's not the case; Oliver said he's happy for Herman and doesn't fault him.
"Coming in, year, you obviously had to know there was at least a slim chance he might leave. But you can't fault the man for wanting to better himself," Oliver said in the Athlon Sports 2017 College Football Preview magazine. "And I congratulate him on wanting to do that, want to better himself. You're supposed to accelerate and strive for more."
Oliver also discusses committing to a program instead of a coach, why he passed on offers from elite Power Five programs and forging his own path in Houston.
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