But the main trophy goes to Oliver, who had a season to remember for a few reasons. Houston’s first game was canceled because of Hurricane Harvey. Oliver and the team were sent to Austin, 160 miles away, before the storm hit. Oliver remembers flying back to his hometown a few days later and seeing standing water on the freeways from the airplane.
“You’d be driving and it’d be fine and then it’d just be like, total devastation,” Oliver said. “And you’d be riding and you get this smell, and it just stinks. And you see people on the streets and it’s just a bad deal. But we came out of it Houston strong.”
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle tweaked his MCL in early October, but still played every game for the Cougars. He led the team in tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries and blocked kicks.
Oliver said he wasn’t going to let an injury derail his final season with his brother, the main reason he ended up at Houston.