Cornerback Jaytlin Askew, who is sitting out the spring as he recovers from shoulder surgery, said that Oliver can play any position he wants because of his athletic ability. Last season, Oliver subbed for Marshall at quarterback and ran for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. Had former coach Paul Johnson not elected to step down, Oliver figured to be a strong candidate to start, but is competing with Lucas Johnson and James Graham for the starting job.
“I’ve seen him get in about once or twice, but I don’t think he’s going to do it too much because he is the quarterback; they don’t want to see him get hurt,” Askew said. “But I think if they let go full go with it, he would be good in it.”
Position changes aren’t uncommon with changes in coaching staff, and in spring practice in general. Popovich compared Collins to a wizard in regard to trying players at new positions.
“There’s a million moving parts, and he’s kind of just moving ’em around,” Popvoch said. “He’s definitely the one behind it, but (he) throws out suggestions and ideas in our staff meetings and says, ‘Hey, what do you guys think about this?’ And it’s kind of like, ‘Hey, yeah, let’s try that and see.’”