Start with his eyes. “Paul’s eyes,” Chelsea Oliver says, “instantly drew me in.” Rise from the pinewoods off Hadaway Road in Kennesaw, battle under the fiercest lights of the SEC, land in the NFL — and there’s much to see. Whole worlds. “Laser beams,” Tra Battle, Paul’s teammate with the University of Georgia and the San Diego Chargers remembers. “It’s like his eyes wouldn’t shut,” Chris Burgett, a college teammate says. Coming home late from a road game at Arkansas, Chris once woke to the whole bus snoozing, but there was Paul. Looking out the window. Dreaming in real time.
Maybe the intensity of childhood’s gaze never left him. Growing up with two big brothers, he had to pay attention. “Paul was aware,” Price, the oldest by two years, says. “Had to be,” Patrick adds. “But you could always tell exactly where Paul was at,” Chelsea says “from the look in his eyes.” So see here, now, the wide, bright eyes of Paul Oliver. Remember them. When they close, yours must open.