Louisville Football is finding a groove recruiting in these unprecedented times. After picking up OL Aaron Gunn and DL Victoine Brown last month, the Cards got their 3rd commitment for the 2021 class in Bralyn Oliver.
Time to make history💯 @SC_DBGROUP @Backendcoach12 @CoachSattUofL @CoachB_BROWN @DeShawnBaker6 @JasonPugheXOS @ElitePositionTr @elitesportsmktg @RivalsFriedman @Nakeishaoliver1 pic.twitter.com/0Ywgbq1rbq— Bralyn “B” Oliver (@bralynoliver8) April 24, 2020
Oliver is a 6’2 195 lbs Safety out of Cornelius, NC. He plays for William Amos Hough High School. Oliver chose Louisville over a litany of offers. Some of the schools that offered Oliver include Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, and NC State, among others. He’s ranked the 472nd player nationally and 28th at his position of Saftey according to 247sports. Louisville WR Coach Gunter Brewer was his primary recruiter and Safties Coach ShaDon Brown was his secondary recruiter.
Oliver is a versatile player because of his size, length, and athleticism. His highlights show a player capable of playing CB or S. There’s a possibility he could even play the Card position much like Rodjay Burns has.
The very first thing you see in his highlights is ball skills. Oliver is very good at going up for jump balls with WRs and snagging them for interceptions. He attacks the ball like it’s his. His leaping ability coupled with his closing speed and long arms makes him a dangerous man in coverage. QBs should think twice about targeting him on throws. His timing and ability to locate the ball in flight are impeccable. The term everyone would likely use for Oliver is that he’s a ball hawk.
Another skill that is noticeable is his ability to read and react; both in coverage and in run support. Oliver is very good at seeing either a short passing route and jumping it to break up or intercept the pass or a run play and getting into the backfield to disrupt it. He processes the plays very quickly and reacts accordingly.
With his size, Oliver is a physical player. He doesn’t mind attacking the line of scrimmage to get in the backfield and bring down ball carriers. WRs will have a hard time blocking him on designed runs to the the edge because he’s very good at using his long arms to help him shed blocks. When in coverage and reading passes in front of him, Oliver really sticks receivers. He hits big and hits hard.
Oliver is also fast and has good vision once he transsitions from defense to returner once he intercepts the ball. He is a threat to take any ball he picks off and return it to the house. He glides on the field when running and can make people miss. He can see angles and exploit them while returning interceptions.
The discipline that Oliver displays is quite spectacular. He doesn’t overrun his angle of pursuit and understands how to contain a runner and allow his defense to make plays. Often times young players want to make a big hit or make the big stop and try to do too much. Oliver seems content to do his job as part of the coordinated defense to help make the stop. You see this displayed in a couple of highlights when he could likely go for a big hit or tackle, but instead breaks down and forces the ball carrier into the teeth of the defense.
Bralyn Oliver is a very raw playmaking DB with NFL size and length. His physical tools will allow Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown to line him up either at CB, S, or the Card position. I think Oliver will end up playing the majority of his career at S, but I expect he could be moved around depending on matchups and opponents. His ball hawking, his ability to read the play and react accordingly, his return ability, and his hitting would make him a very formidable S in the middle of the field. It’s no wonder after watching his highlights why schools like Georgia, Florida, and Florida State were after him. He can become a very versatile and valuable player in any defense. Luckily, he will become that in Louisville’s defense. This is an excellent pickup for the Cards.
With Bralyn Oliver’s commitment, Louisville now has 3 commitments for the 2021 class. The class is currently ranked 53rd early on in the 247sports class rankings. To put that in perspective, last season Louisville’s class finished 42nd. Coach Scott Satterfield and staff are off to a great start and the summer recruiting season hasn’t even arrived yet.