Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
I’ve received some good feedback from readers who’ve stopped by this blog, and it’s much appreciated. As I told one e-mailer today, however, I’ve still got a lonnnnng way to go in the new gig as a football writer.
If anything, I’m like an early enrollee who’s off to a determined start in the offseason conditioning program. We’ll see how I do with spring practice, and especially this fall.
Meantime, I’m getting some fun variety over at the University. I’ve covered Rachel Banham and the women’s basketball team. I’ve met Noora Raty, Amanda Kessell and Megan Bozek -- three stars from the amazing women’s hockey team. I spoke to ace lefthander Tom Windle before he helped knock off No. 2 UCLA in last weekend's baseball season opener.
For now, let’s keep this Gophers player capsule series going with a look at one of the guys anchoring the offensive line:
Position: Offensive tackle
2013 class: Fifth-year senior
High School: Mahtomedi
Recruiting flashback: Olson was a first-team All-State pick and listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.
Early college: After redshirting in 2009, Olson started eight games at left tackle in 2010 and played in all 12 games the next year, starting 10.
2012: He started the first six games, missed four games with a sprained ankle, and then started the final four games. He was an Academic All-Big Ten selection for the second time.
2013 outlook: Olson and his younger brother, Tommy, are two members of an offensive line that returns everyone this fall. The line was beat up for stretches last year, helping contribute to the team's struggles. But the extra time to recover made a difference for the bowl game, as the Gophers rushed for 222 yards.
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