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Houston’s Ed Oliver already declares for the 2019 NFL draft

Houston's Ed Oliver may start a new trend in college football of players sitting out entire seasons to prepare for the following year's NFL draft.

University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football last season, and he was only a sophomore. If Oliver were eligible for this year’s NFL draft, he would be a first-round pick.

So it’s no surprise that Oliver will enter the 2019 NFL draft -- even if it is a little surprising that he’s already making that declaration publicly.

I do plan on leaving,” Oliver told the Houston Chronicle. “I wish I could stay another year, but it’s my time to go.”

Oliver was a highly ranked recruit, regarded by some recruiting analysts as the best high school player ever to choose a college outside the Power 5 major conferences. He said he always had plans to go to the NFL and saw Houston as a place where he would develop.

“This was a dream of mine coming in,” Oliver said. “I knew I was going on a business trip, and whether my business trip was three years or four years it just depend on how early I got on the field and how effective I was.”

Oliver said he’s hoping he can show in his final season that he’s the best player in college football.

“I want to compete for the Heisman,” Oliver said. “There’s a lot on my plate I want to achieve.”

Oliver should achieve a lot in the NFL, and he’ll do it as soon as the NFL lets him.