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Football: L.A. Marshall's running man

October 28, 2008 |  4:34 pm

When it comes to Preston Oliver, the numbers are the only things that add up.

It's hard to understand why there isn't a bigger recruiting buzz surrounding the L.A. Marshall running back, who became his school's career rushing leader less than halfway through his junior season.

Oliver has rushed for 2,571 yards and 38 touchdowns -- another school record -- in his varsity career. During Marshall's 64-34 victory over Eagle Rock last week, Oliver broke his own school single-season rushing record and shattered Vic Mastro's 66-year-old single-season rushing touchdown record. Oliver has 1,304 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.

"He is an Eddie George-type runner, a big, slashing back who's hard to bring down," Marshall Coach Andy Moran said. "He's elusive. He doesn't run full speed every play. He runs just as fast as he needs to get past you."

Most of the time, that's fast enough.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound standout also set a career record with 242 points last week, and with 4,000 yards of total offense needs only 230 more to set the career mark.

Keep in mind that Oliver has at least 13 more games left in his varsity career and possibly more depending on whether the Barristers (6-1 overall, 1-1 Northern League) advance to the playoffs this season and in 2009.

Marshall historian Pete Arbogast, whose father has been watching the Barristers since the 1930s, said the family consensus is that Oliver is the best football player -- at the high school level -- to come through the school. And this includes NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, the former cornerback with the New England Patriots and L.A. Raiders.

Moran said college recruiters haven't showed up to watch Oliver. That should change if the numbers keep adding up.

--Ben Bolch