July 25, 2006

Oliver top Dawg at corner

Coming out of high school, Paul Oliver was on top of the world. Rated the No. 1 cornerback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com, he was also to top player in the State of Georgia. But things slowed down when he got to Athens in the summer of 2003 and he saw how much work he had ahead of him.

"Paul has always had talent," head coach Mark Richt recently told fans at a Bulldog Club meeting. "Paul is a guy like a lot of them. Sometimes you are the best guy at your school or your league, then all of a sudden you show up and there are a bunch of guys that are the best."

Oliver redshirted in 2003 while he adjusted to college life. The following off-season he began to buckle down, and went on to play in every game of the 2004 season. Though playing in a reserve role, he recorded nine tackles and picked off a pass in the win over South Carolina. That December, he was given the team's Iron Man Award, which goes out to players who do not miss any optional or mandatory workouts for a year.

He continued to pick up the past in 2005. He pulled down his second career interception, again from the Gamecocks, which was the first of three on the season. Though the team lost, his best outing was a six tackle, two forced fumbles, and an interception effort against Auburn. He was named the team's Most Improved Defensive Player for the season.

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