High School Sports

Northside’s Oliver looks ahead to career at Georgia Tech

Northside's Tobias Oliver (12) and the Eagles reached the GHSA Class 6A semifinals.
Northside's Tobias Oliver (12) and the Eagles reached the GHSA Class 6A semifinals. photo@macon.com

One of Middle Georgia’s best quarterbacks will be moving on, and he is looking forward to continued success at the next level after a terrific final high school campaign.

Northside’s Tobias Oliver committed to Georgia Tech on Nov. 27, near the conclusion of a season in which he led his team to the GHSA Class 6A semifinals. After running an option offense throughout three seasons at Northside, Oliver looks for the schematic transition to be seamless.

Oliver had a desire to run an offense that he had been used to at the high school level as he chose the Yellow Jackets over teams that also focus on the option: Georgia Southern and Army.

While his final contenders presented some interesting opportunities, Georgia Tech emerged for a fairly simple reason.

“Location really stood out for me,” Oliver said. “I was highly recruited by Georgia Tech and West Point, two schools with great education, but Tech just stood out. It’s close to my family and friends, so they can come and watch me play every weekend.”

Oliver’s first season in Atlanta will be the 10th for his future head coach — Paul Johnson, who has had success with the option throughout his career. Johnson has led his team to two Orange Bowl berths in his nine-year tenure.

Johnson’s track record shows evidence that he can get the job done schematically, but the treatment of prospective players gave Oliver reason to think fondly of Johnson for a different reason.

“He was very straightforward with me throughout the recruiting process,” Oliver said. “He told me week by week where we stood as far as offering me. He was a man of his word about everything he told me.”

Georgia Tech’s 2016 campaign was up-and-down, winning its first three games then losing the next three. The season concluded nicely for the Yellow Jackets, winning five of their final six games, including a victory over Georgia.

The Yellow Jackets lose their leader for the past three seasons, Justin Thomas. Thus, Oliver joins a group consisting of redshirt sophomore Matthew Jordan and numerous underclassmen to compete for the job. Thomas will be hard to replace, but Oliver believes that there will be no regression and that the program’s future is bright.

“I’ll try my best to perfect the offense, and I’ve been talking to other commits with the same mission,” Oliver said. “I definitely feel like an ACC championship is in the making.”

In his senior season, Oliver passed for 1,535 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, along with 1,361 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.

“I think he has the capability to contribute early, but Georgia Tech knows what is best for them and where Tobias can fit,” Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. “He’s been running the veer game for three years and understands the offense with a ton of ability. Sooner or later, he will have an impact.”

An interesting aspect in Oliver heading to Georgia Tech is his rival at the high school level, Jake Fromm, heading to Georgia.

With plenty of back-and forth between Houston County and Northside, Middle Georgia fans could have the opportunity to see that rivalry unfold on a bigger stage for a few more seasons, and Oliver looks forward to playing against Fromm once again.

“The rivalry has been a life-lasting memory since eighth grade,” Oliver said. “It’s a great feeling to see it continue into college. He’s a great guy, and competing with him never gets old. Although we have different play styles, I feel as if we have the same competitive nature, which makes it intense.”