Aug. 12, 2009
By Drew Edwards
More than a week into fall camp, true freshman defensive back Nyshier Oliver has had his share of welcome-to-the-SEC moments. But while football happens at a frantic pace, he's embracing a little slower pace off the field.
In this Q&A, the New Jersey native talks about making the move to college football, life in Tennessee and what it's like trying to make a name for himself in a talented secondary.
What has the adjustment to college football been like so far?
Oliver: "The adjustment has been going well. The older guys have been leading the freshmen through things, telling us what to expect, what not to expect. It's been competitive. Everything's been competitive."
How have your expectations of what college football would be like compared to the reality of fall camp?
Oliver: "What I heard from other teams, other people is that you have to have a strong mind. You've got to go into things thinking maybe you're not going to play as much. Or maybe you will have the opportunity to play. If you do have the opportunity to play, you've got to be mentally prepared to handle anything that comes your way."
You're from New Jersey. How's life down south? Are you enjoying Tennessee so far?
Oliver: "I love it. It's a little slower. I lived about 10 minutes away from Manhattan, one of the biggest cities in the world. But I like it."
How much did you go into the city?
Oliver: "All the time. Every weekend."
What have you done here in your down time? It's a little different than New York.
Oliver: "It's a little different (laughs). You've got to search for things. I've found a couple nice spots where you can have a nice sit-down dinner."
What about Chick-fil-A? You tried that yet?
Oliver: "That's the first time I had Chick-fil-A. It's good."
Where have you been working mostly?
Oliver: "They've got me at corner. No reps at safety. I like that. I played safety sparingly in high school, but I was always a corner."
There's a lot of talented newcomers in the secondary. What's the vibe you're getting from your teammates back there?
Oliver: "I'm doing a good job. I've got to keep doing what I'm doing. Mike Edwards, me, we've just got to keep doing what we're doing because you never know when we're going to be thrown in to play. Injuries happen every day. God forbid it happens, but that's just a way of life. You've just got be ready."