I wasn’t able to reach Will Oliver, the 6-foot-8 OL from NorCal who intends to sign with UCLA on Wednesday, but I chatted with his coach Jeff Haagenson a few minutes ago:
Gold: When did UCLA get involved on Will?
Haagenson: “The first time I heard was when Coach Angus McClure called Monday or Tuesday of last week, wanted to stop by. Some guys are stopping by for next year, or trying to get a guy late, so we expect this, but he said he was coming by to take a look at Oliver. Now, Will was committed to Sac State, but I’m sure anybody would take a look at UCLA.”
Gold: Did he have any more interest from other colleges? His name doesn’t seem to be out there much?
Haagenson: “Will was really committed to Sac State, really committed. They were the first school on him junior year. Fresno State came through, Reno came through, but he didn’t even listen to offers. I got a call Thursday night from Angus, and Coach Neuheisel and wanted to meet with Will.
Coach Neuheisel is just brimming with personality, just takes over the room, and he was really good with Will. And Will really liked them back. Will wouldn’t take a trip to Reno or Fresno State, but he took a visit last weekend to UCLA, said he had a great time, loved UCLA and told the Sac State coaches that he was changing.”
Gold: When did he get an offer?
Haagenson: “Sunday morning at breakfast.”
Gold: What can you tell me about Will?
Haagenson: “Will is kind of a late-bloomer. He was 6-4 as a freshman, so it wasn’t like he grew a foot, but he was a little overweight at that time, and not just soft physically, but mentally. He was always bigger, he was never bullied, he never had to be a tough guy. Came into high school a little soft, played football and wrestled, got into much better condition. The only problem was, wrestling took him away from the weight room. But he’s been getting much better.
I don’t know if his heart was into football until after his junior year. He didn’t start, we were a really good line, three returning all-league guys. He sat for a year, didn’t get a lot of looks, but he had a great senior year, started a little slow but by the end, he was killing guys. This scholarship is probably based on the last three games of his career. We played Deer Valley, Pittsburg and De La Salle, and he was just crushing those guys. And those are solid defensive linemen. Once Fresno State was interested, Reno was in and word kind of spreads.”
Gold: What should UCLA fans expect from him?
Haagenson: “Will is just a charming kid. Looks you in the eye, he smiles. I’m sure hes a breath of fresh air for recruiters. His upside is huge. He’s really starting to love football, and he is going to be something.”