San Diego currently has 7 running backs on the roster and has been one of the most talked about backfields this off-season. With a talented veteran crew leading the charge, there are younger players who are talented and working hard to get on the active roster. There has been a lot of good buzz around camp about a young man, an outspoken Christian man who seems to have a switch he turns on when he hits the hole. I was fortunate enough to have him agree to do an interview with me.
At 5’8″ and 201 lbs out of the University of Buffalo, Branden Oliver set a lot of school records – playing out of the MAC. During his 2nd year of playing, he broke the UB single season rushing record which was previously held by current NFL running back James Starks. “Bo” was ranked by nfldraftscout.com’s 45th best RB out of 228. At the combine, he ran a 4.63 – 40 with 26 reps on the bench press.
Watching videos on Branden’s play, was amazing. It was like Ray Rice and Darren Sproles morphed into one special player – tough and strong like Rice, but quick and elusive like Sproles. He has the innate ability to make people miss – using his great field vision to see what is around him.
So BoltNation – please help me welcome Branden Oliver to San Diego and BoltBlitz.com!!
BWK: What have you learned from the game of football in college that has helped you earn an opportunity in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers?
BO: First I would like to thank my LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST for giving me this opportunity – but to always pay attention to the little things and sacrificing for your teammates.
BWK: I noticed that you were offered to attend the Indianapolis Colts training camp. What happened there and what experience, if any, did you bring with you to Charger camp?
BO: It was just a 3 day RMC invite but it didn’t work out – but it was a great experience – I just brought my work ethic.
BWK: You are a devout Christian. Was a religious upbringing always a center piece in the Oliver home? If there was only one Bible verse you could turn to for any reason, which one would it be?
BO: Well I didn’t grow up in a church, but went to church off and on at times – There is so many that I learned, the whole word is awesome, but I would have to say Jeremiah 17:7.
BWK: I noticed at UB you were required to take part in community service organizations; i.e. Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Family, Linda Salem Safety Run…etc. How involved were you and was there one in particular you enjoyed the most? Have you located any in the San Diego area that you are engaged with?
BO: Going to the hospitals to encourage kids and adults the best way that I can.
BWK: What is your greatest strength that you want the Chargers organization and its fans to know about?
BO: Going hard to sacrifice for my teammates and that I am an all-purpose back.
BWK: If there was one weakness that if improved on, could solidify a spot on the active roster, what would it be?
BO: Special Teams.
BWK: The Charger team is a family. We as fans know this. Can you briefly describe in your own words what goes on in camp that you have seen that makes the Charger team and organization a “family?”
BO: The way everyone gets along with each other and communicates with the rookies.
BWK: If you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?
BO: The new and improved HULK because he has self-control and knows when to turn it all on and when not to.
BWK: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing or preparing for football?
BO: Reading my Bible, playing video games, watching movies and resting my body.
BWK: Is there a song that you listen to on game day prior to coming onto the field?
BO: I usually read my Bible and meditate on it.
BWK: Chargers vs. Raiders – Rivers calls an off-tackle run play on the Raider 8 yard line with 3rd and 1 to go – as you get to your spot, you look across the line and see your college teammate and roommate Khalil Mack. Tell me the first thought that comes to your mind?
BO: We’re getting the first down no matter what the circumstances.
BWK: It seems fitting that you are wearing Darren Sproles’ old number as some have compared you to him - height, weight, elusiveness, field vision, versatile…etc. How does that comparison make you feel?
BO: It’s nice but I am 210 and I always felt that he was a great role model of the game for me – but I just gotta be me.
BWK: Last question…What do I need to do in order to get an Oliver jersey?
BO: I have to make the team during camp first, I believe so.
Just wanted to again thank Branden for taking his time and answering my questions. Branden can be found on twitter @BoBelieves so please give him a follow. I wish him the best of luck this season and I know that BoltNation will be cheering for him as well.