Photo courtesy UC Davis Sports Information
AGGIE RECEIVER Michael Oliva is looking forward to all-star games and, perhaps, an NFL shot.
By KEVIN SAULS
Michael Oliva did quite a rewriting job on the University of California at Davis football record book.
The magnificent wideout from Summerville High School
concluded his collegiate career this season as the Aggies' all-time leading receiver in yards (3,379) and
touchdowns (37), and his 192 receptions came within three of the career record. His 75 catches, 1,365 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior are Davis single-season bests.
There's a lot more for Oliva, who is the second runner-up as The Union Democrat's Sports Figure of the Year after winning the award last year (there has never been a repeat winner).
The 6-foot-2, 199-pound powerhouse also added to his school postseason records, running them up to 58 catches for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns in eight NCAA Division II playoff games the last three seasons.
Oliva also holds Division II postseason records for most receiving yards in a game (233) and in one postseason (396), both set in 2001.
He made the D2football.com All-America team twice (second team last year and honorable mention this season), was twice named to the All-West Region first team by the same organization, twice earned third-team Little All-American honors from the Associated Press, and was given third-team All-American recognition by the "Football Gazette" in 2001.
This season, as a senior, Oliva was one of nine finalists for the Harlon Hill Award, the Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. The award eventually went to quarterback Curt Anes from national champion
Grand Valley State of Allendale, Mich. Oliva and Davis gave top-ranked Grand Valley all it wanted in a 24-17 loss in the season opener.
Now, Oliva has dates to play in the Cactus Bowl, a Division II all-star game, Jan. 10 in Kingsville, Texas, and the Paradise Bowl, a Division II and I-AA game, Jan. 25 in St. George, Utah. He may skip the Cactus Bowl if he gets a nod to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game with the best of the best (from Miami and Ohio State on down) Jan. 11 in San Francisco. He's currently an East-West alternate.