Myles Oliver has fallen underneath the cracks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He’s an under-the-radar prospect in every sense of the word.
You might not know his name, but you will soon.
Oliver, a 6-0, 170-pound defensive back out of Douglas County (Ga.) High School, announced on Christmas Day that he would be making an official visit to Clemson on Jan. 14.
That’s a very short turnaround for a prospect who first got in touch with Clemson cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator, Mike Reed, on Dec. 19.
While The Clemson Insider spoke with Oliver regarding his current recruitment, his upcoming official visit and what a potential Clemson offer would mean, we wanted to find out more about why a prospect with his film, ultimately fell through the cracks.
Who better to find out from than Oliver’s head coach at Douglas County, Johnny T. White?
“He’s an unbelievable player,” White told TCI in a phone interview Sunday. “He really came into his own coming into his senior year. I think that COVID really hurt his recruiting on a couple of instances.”
One of those instances was Oliver not being able to have a full season of track heading into his junior year. COVID, of course, brought that to a halt. While Oliver played well at the free safety position for Douglas County, White indicated he wasn’t able to have the standout season that they were hoping for because of the shortened track season.
While school took place virtually in 2020, Oliver was able to participate in a full season of track, in which he ran all of Douglas County’s relays and was the first leg in the 4×1 and 4×4. He finished in the top six of the state for both of those races.
“I think going into his senior year, that really gave him a lot of confidence and it showed with his speed,” White said.
It’s also worth mentioning that the defensive back position is a relatively new one for Oliver.
“From a DB standpoint, I think greatness has yet to come for him,” White added. “He came to us as a quarterback. He ain’t never played DB before ‘til his junior year. So, he’s still learning the ins and outs of the position, just from his size, speed and his senior year showing that he can make all the checks and get us in all the right situations. He had a great senior year for us.”
That, he did. Oliver agreed that his senior season was everything he could’ve hoped for and more.
Across his senior campaign, Oliver recorded five interceptions, 75 total tackles (55 solos), four touchdowns, 101 interception yards and 552 all-purpose yards.
He received Douglas County Player of the Year for honors for his contribution on the field this season.
All that hard work Oliver put in is finally starting to pay off.
“I’m very proud of that,” White said. “I’m very proud that he stuck with the process. He’s so versatile because he can play well at corner or safety. It really doesn’t matter from that standpoint. He feels comfortable doing both. But like I said, once he gets the real nuances, he’s gonna do nothing but get better.”
In addition to his obvious interest from Clemson, Oliver holds an offer from Charleston Southern and some additional intrigue from schools like West Virginia, Purdue, Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt and Indiana.
Oliver was surprised, yet happy to hear from Clemson. However, it didn’t come as a surprise to his head coach, as the Tigers first reached out to White, who has a long-standing relationship with Reed.
“He got a hold of [Oliver’s] tape, from I think one of our former coaches — the head coach at Langston Hughes — Daniel Williams,” White explained. “Coach Reed asked me about Myles and said, ‘Why ain’t nobody tell me about him?’”
White didn’t have a good answer for him.
He knows it’s late in the game, especially with how the transfer portal is at the moment, but he went to bat for his player.
“The kid’s gonna pass the look test because he’s a legit 6-foot,” White said of Oliver. “He’s 175, he’s long, he’s lanky, he works his tail off. I said, ‘Coach, you can look at his film.’ We’ll see how it pans out, but the kid is a bonafide player.”
Obviously, White is hopeful that the official visit goes well and ends in an offer for Oliver.
“Clemson would be a great place because it’s close to home for him,” White said. “Family’s big to him, so that’s not far. But, at the same time, I think it would be beneficial on both sides. I think he’d end up being a great player for Clemson. I know he’d be a standout guy because he’s a great young man. He’s a better young man than he is a football player, to be honest.”
What would that coveted offer from Clemson mean to Oliver?
“It would mean a lot to get an offer from Clemson,” he said.
If he does indeed end up at Clemson, White has little doubt — if any — that Oliver would be well taken care of from a developmental standpoint.
“I know Coach Reed would get the best out of that young man and I know he’d be in great hands with Coach Reed,” he said. “At the same time, also understand that he’s one of those kids that can be coached hard, that’s gonna give you everything that he has.”
“He likes that I’m fast and that I have really good ball skills,” Oliver said of Reed. “He wants to improve me as a corner.”
What also needs to be said is that Oliver is as humble as they come.
He comes from a family that’s had a lot of great football players. Oliver has two first cousins — Brandon, who played wide receiver at Georgia Tech, and Braelen, who is a starting linebacker at the University of Minnesota. Also, his older brother, Malik, played at Jacksonville State.
That Oliver name holds a lot of weight in Douglasville.
“He’s always been humble,” White said. “He’s never felt like anybody’s owed him anything. He understands that he has to work for everything he’s ever got.”
White would know. He’s known him since Myles was just a little kid.
He used to coach at Creekside High School, where Myles’ father was a resource officer. Around 2016, White ended up moving and taking the head coaching job at Douglas County. To his surprise, the Oliver’s home was zoned for his new school.
Everything happens for a reason. The same could be for Myles’ recruitment.
Myles never wavered in his belief that his time would come. He always put the work in.
“I’m most definitely excited for what’s to come,” he said.