Oliver embraces leadership role

Paul Oliver

ATHENS – It's been some time since Paul Oliver was considered the top cornerback in the state of Georgia. After injury, redshirting and gradually increasing playing time, Oliver is now Georgia's go-to cornerback, and that's a good thing.

"I feel very confident that Paul Oliver will be our boundary corner as a starter," Mark Richt said of Oliver.

But replacing Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter won't be a simple process. Oliver, who has been the number one cornerback since both left, will have to lead the likes of Thomas Flowers, Asher Allen and the rest of the inexperienced Bulldog backs to live up to their potential.

"Its new for me, but I am ready to get started," said Oliver of his role as a leader in the secondary.

Last season it was Oliver who was figuring out how to live up to his potential. He got his second career interception against South Carolina and had a career high four-tackle day against Louisiana–Monroe.

But Oliver played his best against Georgia's top rivals. He got his first career start against Florida and backed that effort up with another start against Auburn a few days later. Oliver did not disappoint against the Tigers – he had six tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception. He added another interception against Georgia Tech a few weeks later.

"I think the fans sometimes look at our seniors who are leaving and maybe our recruiting class and they tend to forget all those other recruiting classes in between. Paul Oliver, who has been in the program going into his fourth season, is ready to be a junior starter for us at corner in replacement of DeMario Minter," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt.

The former Parade All-American was named the team's Most Improved Defensive Player for 2005. Oliver is trying to capitalize on his momentum from last season, and it appears he will. In this spring's G-Day game Oliver had two tackles, two pass breakups and one interception in limited action.

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