- Name: Peter Oliver
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 223 lbs.
- Position: RB
- College: Holy Cross
- Instagram: peter_olli24
Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
Being at a liberal arts school, I have had a large breadth of experiences at the College of the Holy Cross. I have completed the Chemistry Major requirements and I will finish the Spanish Major this fall. I have participated in Athlete Bible Study, Spanish Club, and I play the violin with the Chapel Choir in mass on Sundays. I learned important critical thinking skills after doing well in classes such as Multivariable Calculus, Organic Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics, and multiple high level Spanish courses. I love meeting and connecting with new people from different backgrounds such as my friends from other countries, foreign language assistants and professors in the Spanish department, or skilled musicians that I play music with.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My work ethic. I’m very disciplined taking care of my body and doing what I need to do in the weight room and off the field to be the best contributor to the team that I can be. I do as much as I can to make sure I have recovered by the next game. I make sure that all of my things are taken care of during the week so that when the games come around on Saturday there is nothing else on my mind.
What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m a silent leader on our team who keeps things positive. I keep the energy up during practices and games. I’m typically a power, downhill back but I have breakaway speed (clocking in at over 21 miles per hour according to our catapult data in a recent game against Lehigh.) I’m utilized when we need to grind things out and wear down defenses. I’ve also been a very effective member of special teams, being the up-back on punt, blocking on kickoff return, and even scooping and scoring on a blocked punt my freshman year.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Forrest Rhyne was a very tenacious player for Villanova. He had great agility and pursuit as well as an ability to shed blocks.
Lafayette LB Marco Olivas was a player that we game planned for as well. He is agile, a great pursuer of the ball, and a tough tackler. I had success against him my senior year.
Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Ayir Asante and Jacob Dobbs have been excellent teammates. They’re perpetually positive people who always have good energy. Their character shows on and off the field.
Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My junior year in high school, I tore my labrum in my shoulder. I was in a lot of pain, yet I continued to finish out the rest of the season. Afterwards, I got the surgery that I needed. It was a dark point in my life because I wasn’t able to play. A big part of my identity has always been me as an athlete playing football. Going to Kathy, my physical therapist, changed my life. She taught me how to properly move my body and to workout with good form. Since then, I have had no issues with my shoulders as I know the necessary precautions to take to keep them mobile, strong, and healthy.
If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
When I was in high school, I played ice hockey, lacrosse, and l ran indoor and outdoor track. I ran an 11.3 100-yard dash and 6.68 55-meter dash indoors. Growing up, I also played soccer and did gymnastics. My dad has been a strength coach my entire life and training with him (basically since I came out of the womb). He encouraged me to play so many different sports as a kid to expand the breadth of my motor patterns.
What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I have had the fortune of receiving many honors and awards in my life. Some highlights include the Xaverian Award Winner in high school, the Swede Nelson Award, First Team All-Patriot League and Patriot League Academic Player of the Year last season. This year, I am one of 15 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, an award many people dub the “Academic Heisman”. Despite all these awards, I would say I am most proud of my resiliency. Playing football, I have encountered a lot of adversity and physical pain, yet I always find a way to bounce back up. My dad taught me that “Olivers never give up” and to always “get back on the horse”. I took his words to heart, and I get back on my metaphorical horse whenever the football gods present me with an opportunity for learning.
Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I will never forget the best game of my career. It was a brisk day in October—perfect football weather. It was family weekend, and it was the inaugural game of football being played at Polar Park, the new baseball stadium in Worcester. In the first drive of the game, I scored a touchdown cementing me in the history books as the first person to ever score a touchdown at Polar Park. I then proceeded to run for 153 yards averaging 10.9 yards per carry. I was jumping over people, and it would take multiple people to bring me down. I’ll never forget that night. I felt the spirit and was playing from a place of emotion. Nothing could stop me.
Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Roger Craig is a player whose highlights I love to watch. The way that he runs, using his legs like pistons propelling himself forward and THROUGH other people is inspiring. I am proud to say that I have some plays where I run like him. “Tenacious” is a word that captures him well and what I exude in my run game.
Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Before a game, I like to listen to music that gets me into the present moment. This season, I have made it a point to not be too strict with what I listen to. Being superstitious with a pregame ritual has only led to stress for me. So, instead I take what makes the most sense in the present moment, putting one of my playlists on shuffle. Most of the time, I listen to the music that is being played in the locker room and focus on the sounds of the stadium around me while I am warming up. The most important thing for me before a game is intentional breathing to control my nervous system and emotions so that I can execute to the best of my ability come game time.
What is your favorite comfort food?
My favorite comfort food is peanut butter. There’s nothing better than its salty sweet goodness and it can go with so many different things.
Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Fun fact about me: I actually grew up without cable! However, when we got Netflix at some point in middle school I enjoyed watching “How I Met Your Mother” and “Stranger Things” in high school.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I play my violin and practice yoga. Those two things help keep me balanced. I also have a plant collection. I have a huge family (my mom has 12 siblings and my dad has 7!) and I enjoy spending time with them.
Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I love the game of football. It’s one of the few places that I can go where I can just be in the moment. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the game, but there’s nothing like gameday. Having the spotlight on me and being able to execute is one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. I also enjoy the people that I’m with and the camaraderie that is involved in football. I think the lesson of adversity is what has stuck with me the most from football. Knowing how to move past a bad play (or a good one) and being in the moment for the next play is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. What motivates me the most is my family and my faith. I trust God to guide me on and off the field.