- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Edward Oliver, the No. 6-ranked prospect in the country, is staying home for college.
The five-star and third-ranked defensive tackle in the Class of 2016 committed to the University of Houston on Thursday night in what is a first in the seven years ESPN has assigned star rankings to prospects.
The 6-foot-2, 283-pound Oliver, who selected the hometown team over LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and a number of others, becomes the first five-star ranked prospect by RecruitingNation to commit or sign with a non-Power 5 university.
The 2016 Under Armour All-America Game selection's commitment to Houston comes as surprise to many, but not those who have closely followed Oliver's recruitment. Oliver is the younger brother of Houston offensive lineman Marcus Oliver and his former head coach at Westfield High, Corby Meekins, is now on the Cougars staff. There is an overwhelming feeling of comfort and familiarity with the program closest to home.
LSU was considered the early leader, but the family's desire for Oliver to stay home and the connection to the Houston program overtook all challengers since January.
Oliver is one of four commitments for new Houston coach Tom Herman and his staff in the 2016 class joining three-star quarterback Bowman Sells, safety Patrick Rosette and defensive tackle Jordan Elliott.
Elliott, ranked 46th in the ESPN 300, announced his intentions on Friday via Twitter:
Just got off the phone with coach Herman and now I am officially Committed to the University of Houston #HTownTakeover this real be a cool 💯
— Jordan (@JAE__95) May 22, 2015
Elliott, who decommitted from Baylor in April, had 63 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 12 sacks last season for Westside High School in Houston.
The question now becomes how much momentum can Houston ride on the recruiting trail with a five-star in the fold. Oliver is teammates with ESPN 300 No. 89 and former Texas A&M verbal Tyrie Cleveland and fast rising quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole, and both are seriously considering the Cougars.
Edward Oliver, the No. 6-ranked prospect in the country, is staying home for college, committing to the Houston Cougars over LSU, Texas A&M and Texas.