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Branden Oliver’s Rise no Surprise to College Roommate Khalil Mack

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by boltssbbound, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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  2. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Branden Oliver’s rise no surprise to Khalil Mack

    Khalil Mack has a pretty good story, a one-scholarship-offer player at the University of Buffalo who worked hard to become a top-five draft pick for the Oakland Raiders this season.

    His college roommate has a better story.

    Branden Oliver, all 5-foot-6 of him, was also not highly recruited and took his one shot and attended Buffalo. He went on to become the school’s all-time leading rusher but wasn’t drafted because … he is 5-foot-6.

    He hooked on with the Chargers, and after injuries to three running backs this season, got his shot Sunday against the Jets. Oliver finished with 182 combined rushing and receiving yards, the most combined yards by a San Diego running back since LaDainian Tomlinson finished with 197 yards against Kansas City on Dec. 2, 2007.

    “I wasn’t surprised when I saw that at all,” Mack said of his fellow Florida native. “It was only practice in college, but he is the best running back I ever played against in my life. He’s quick, can lower his shoulder, can catch and can block.”

    Mack called Oliver Sunday night to congratulate him and also to tell him it won’t be happening again Sunday, when the two square off.

    “I got the secret on how to stop him,” Mack said, smiling. “I was his roommate.”

    The Raiders are going to need some inside knowledge, as the 0-4 team is second to last in the NFL in run defense, giving up 158.2 yards a game.

    Oliver had 114 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, and added 68 yards and a touchdown on four catches.

    Chargers defensive end Dwight Freeney told reporters that Oliver gave the team fits back at training camp.

    “You can’t teach that lean, that leverage, that movement and that height,” he said. “You can’t see him.”

    Oliver broke through against a Jets defense that had been No. 1 run defense coming into the game.

    “We came in with the mentality to run the ball, even though they had the No. 1 defense,” Oliver told reporters. “So whenever you get the opportunity to run the ball, the offensive line was hungry, and we just had to do what we had to do.”

    Oliver wears No. 43 and might remind some observers of former Chargers mini-dynamo Darren Sproles, but Oliver says that was only one of two numbers left.

    “That’s the perception that people are getting,” Oliver told reporters. “I’m just trying to be me … I’m like 15 pounds heavier, physical (than Sproles).”

    Like Mack, Oliver grew up being chased and thrashed by older brothers. Mack grew up to pound them back, while Oliver learned to make them miss.

    Together, they helped turn a 2-10 Buffalo team in 2010 into an eight win bowl team in 2013. When Oliver wasn’t drafted, Mack never sensed that his buddy needed a pep talk.

    “No, I know he is just like me, going to work as hard as he can to get what he wants,” Mack said. “Plus, I knew how good he was. Everybody else is finding out now.”

    And now they are both starring in an NFL game on Sunday.

    “It’s exciting for our players to see that kind of success,” Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn told reporters. “(Oliver) is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached. You can’t tell the first snap from the last snap because he plays as hard as any player.”

    Mack is the same way. Which Buffalo success story will be better come Sunday afternoon?
     
  3. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Well I hope we got the better pro.

    Haven't seen much at all from Mack yet.
     
  4. Blitzy

    Blitzy Spanos Chargers Troll

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    I wish we somehow manage to convert Khalil Mack toward "the Good Guys in the Blue & Gold" and away from the dark side ;)
     
  5. Blitzy

    Blitzy Spanos Chargers Troll

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    Regretfully for Mack, he was swallowed by the Black Hole! I had Mack higher than Clowney, so only the Raiders can manage to farg that one up too.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    Thankfully Mack wasn't smart/aggressive enough to have the Raiders brass go get his room-mate who he thought 'was the best RB he ever played against'. I wonder how often a GM might say that to players... if you know of a guy we should take a look at please let me know. I know I would.
     
  7. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    I think Mack was looking out for his friend. He didn't have a choice, but his friend did and I suspect he did not want to subject him to what he has to endure for a few years.
     
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