It didn't take long for Ed Oliver to establish himself as one of the elite talents in college football.
The five-star recruit finished second in the country with 23 tackles for loss as a freshman in 2016 and led all defensive linemen with 9 pass breakups. He's on the preseason watch lists for all of the major college football awards, which is no surprise given the dominance he displayed last year.
The earliest he could be eligible for the draft is 2019, but scouts are already smitten with his potential.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Oliver received votes from five of seven CFB 24/7 experts, including a No. 1 vote and three other top-5 votes. He's the highest-rated interior defensive lineman in the #CFBTop25 countdown, and just three defensive players are ranked higher than him in the countdown.
What some of our analysts are saying about Oliver
"Oliver was darn near unblockable as a freshman at Houston. He's very similar to Aaron Donald. That says it all." -- Daniel Jeremiah
"Highly touted coming out of high school, and more than lived up to the billing as a freshman. He's dominant at the point of attack, but it's his ability to destroy offenses from inside (tackles for loss/sacks) that makes him elite." -- Charles Davis
"Oliver was impossible for interior offensive linemen to handle as a true freshman. He needs to continue to get bigger, but his agility and initial quickness are scary for a big man." -- Lance Zierlein
"Oliver's combination of strength and athleticism makes him the most fun college football defender to watch since Ndamukong Suh." -- Chad Reuter
"There aren't many players in the AAC who could start for pretty much any team in the country, but Oliver qualifies." -- Chase Goodbread
Where do fans rank Oliver?
We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Oliver didn't receive a vote. It's not very surprising, despite the huge splash he made as a freshman. Oliver plays in a conference (AAC) that's outside of the Power Five, he only has a year of experience and he plays a position that doesn't get the same attention players at skill positions receive. He might be flying under the radar for fans now, but that could change in short order if he builds on his success of a season ago.