SALT LAKE CITY – Some early mock drafts already have Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver as a potential first-round selection in next spring’s NFL draft.
First, the Buffaloes’ junior cornerback has to put his name in the draft pool, and that’s a decision he has yet to make.
“After things settle down, I’ll have talks with my family, with the coaches and we’ll go from there,” Oliver said after CU’s 34-13 loss to Utah on Saturday night.
“I’m sure it’ll be tough. I haven’t thought about it at all, because I didn’t want to focus on it throughout the season. It’s a lot to think about now, because it’s all going to come at once, but I have a great family. They’re a great supporting cast, so I know they’ll be there with me through it. We’ll get through it.”
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Oliver is one of the best cornerbacks in the Pac-12, if not the country, but spent the last month of the season battling through a leg injury.
Injured in the first half at Washington State on Oct. 21, Oliver missed the next two and a half games. He returned on Nov. 11 against Southern California, but wasn’t fully healthy and sat out the second half.
He played throughout Saturday’s game at Utah, despite not being 100 percent.
“I’m still a little hurt, but it didn’t matter for me,” he said. “I was going to play this game for the seniors, one last ride for them to try to get to a bowl game.”
It may have been Oliver’s last chance to get to a bowl, as well.
An exceptional athlete who has been a record-breaking decathlete for the Buffs, Oliver is sure to impress NFL scouts in workouts when his time comes to prepare for the draft, whether that’s this spring or in 2019.
One of the top decathletes in the Pac-12, Oliver said his love of track could play a role in his decision to go to the NFL. If he declares for the draft this spring, he’ll have to give up track and field.
“Probably a lot,” he said when asked how much he’ll factor track and field into his decision, “just knowing that if I do decide to go out early this upcoming track season wouldn’t be there for me. I have a lot of expectations for this track season, a lot of goals that I set. It’ll play a part into it, but we’ll add all that in there.”
In its history, CU has had eight players declare early for the draft, with receiver Paul Richardson being the last to do so, in 2014.
CU’s last first-round picks came in 2011, when Nate Solder and Jimmy Smith were both selected.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.