Tolliver enjoys strong season at Waynesburg

Josh Tolliver quietly put together a brilliant career for the Bellaire Big Reds.

As he’s transitioned to the collegiate level at Waynesburg University, Tolliver hasn’t been as quiet.

The Yellow Jackets’ defensive line standout has enjoyed a brilliant career thus far and put together a most impressive campaign this season.

“It was a good season for me, but I feel I can do a lot of things better,” Tolliver said during a recent phone interview.

Though Tolliver is his biggest critic, the coaches of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference certainly took notice and named him to the all-conference team’s defensive unit.

“I was definitely excited when I heard I had been honored, but I definitely don’t go into seasons thinking about awards or anything like that,” Tolliver said.

“I am happy for all of the (Waynesburg) guys who were honored as well.”

En route to the post-season honors, Tolliver had 39 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and sack sacks. He also picked off a pass and had a scoop and score, which he rumbled back 75 yards for the score.

“I went into the season thinking I’d have a bigger year and it actually started slowly,” Tolliver recalled. “I really picked it up in the middle of the year. Once I had a good game, I just tried to keep it going and keep playing consistently.”

Working as a defensive end, Tolliver was a menace, making a living in opposing teams’ backfields.

“I think I improved in my pass rushing,” Tolliver said. “I’ve already set some even higher goals for myself for next season, knowing that it will be last season.”

Tolliver is one of a handful of Ohio Valley products who are making strong impacts at Waynesburg. Bernie Thompson was an all-conference receiver and Jonathan Carlier – a Martins Ferry product – appeared in seven games and had seven tackles.

“It’s definitely nice having so many local guys on the team,” Tolliver said. “Bernie and I have become really close. We have great chemistry on our team.”

Josh is on pace to graduate in the spring of 2015. He’s majoring in sociology and hopes to become a counselor.

“Classes are going great,” Tolliver said. “One of the reasons I like Waynesburg is because of the small classes and ability to interact with the professors one on one.”