Countdown to Kickoff: 44 Days (Marcus Oliver)

Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)

Good morning Hoosier Nation, not only have you almost made it through the week, but we're another day closer to kickoff, only 44 days left until the Hoosiers open their 2015 campaign. Pads will be popping inside of Memorial Stadium before you know it. To continue our countdown we are taking a look at number 44 for your Hoosiers, linebacker Marcus Oliver. 

The native of Hamilton, OH. joined the Hoosiers during the summer of 2013 after an outstanding prep career at Hamilton High School. During his senior season for the Big Blue, Oliver recorded 135 tackles, including one sack and 10 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one blocked kick and one defensive touchdown. He also had an impact on the offensive side of the ball, rushing for 587 yards with six scores. As a result of his play he was named all-state, all-district, and the Greater Miami Conference Player of the Year.

When it came time to choose between Indiana and Miami (OH), Oliver decided the allure of playing in a big time conference along with how well he fit with the Hoosiers football program was too much to pass up. In an interview with Peeg's Matt Weaver, Oliver discussed this further, "It is really exciting. I am ready to play Big Ten football and I'm ready to win. I found the school I want to be at, and a place where I fit in and a place that I like. I am excited to have an opportunity to play at a high level." 

Oliver did not disappoint once on campus, playing in 11 games as true freshman at all three linebacker spots while recording 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. His performance was enough to earn him honorable mention on the All-Big Ten Freshman team.

His sophomore season was cut short after suffering an ACL injury in the team's upset win over the Missouri Tigers. The week prior he had one of his better games as a Hoosier, recording a career-high nine tackles to go along with a forced fumble and pass break up against Bowling Green.

Future Outlook

Due to his knee injury, Oliver was limited during the spring. Depending on how well he bounces back from it will determine the extent in which he will be able to contribute this fall. The Hoosiers return a lot of talent at inside linebacker, but with the team constantly rotating players in-and-out at the positions, there's reason to believe that Oliver will get plenty of opportunity contribute this fall. At the very minimum, Oliver will be a great leader for the Hoosiers younger and inexperienced defensive players.