Younger Olson set to join his brother as starter on O-line

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 29, 2012 - 3:57 PM
hide

Gophers offensive linemen Ed Olson (left) and Tom Olson as high school teammates at Mahtomedi in 2008.

This isn't entirely new for Tommy Olson. He and his brother, Ed, were linemates for two seasons at Mahtomedi High School, and they even got a preview of their college partnership when both started in two games last year.

But something about opening a new season as an established tandem, working together to hold the left side of the Gophers offensive line together, makes Thursday's opening night a little more momentous for the Olson brothers.

"We've been best friends our whole lives," the 19-year-old Tommy said of Ed, who is older by almost exactly two years. "We made it a goal to come here and play together, and now that it finally has happened, it's something else."

Ed will take his familiar spot at left tackle, with its emphasis on protecting quarterback MarQueis Gray's blind spot as he looks for a receiver. Tommy will line up on his brother's right shoulder at guard, eager to clear a path for the Gophers running game.

It's a role they have been preparing for since they were peewee football players, facing off against each other in the back yard. Ed Sr., who played the line at Minnesota from 1980 to '82, was their youth league coach, but he wasn't the only one helping them hone their blocking skills.

"My mom [Kelly] used to film us doing our 1-on-1 [drills]," Tommy said, "and then we would go inside and watch the film."

Now that's a football family.

"With that family, he's can't not succeed, if that makes sense. He's going to do whatever is necessary," offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. "I had a talk with Eddie after the season about some things we wanted him to work on. When spring [practice] started, basically everything I had Ed do, Tommy had done, too, even though I didn't have that talk with him. They make each other better."

They even have the same habits. Both Olsons wear a half-dozen rubber wristbands on each wrist, have "since junior high school, I think," according to Ed, and rarely take them off. One says Gophers, one says Mahtomedi Zephyrs, one is a Lance Armstrong "LiveStrong" band. "You just start collecting them over the years," Ed said. "We don't even take them off to play football. We just tape over them."

Green cleared to play

The Gophers have some minor injuries, but nothing that will prevent anyone from playing, coach Jerry Kill said Tuesday.

Senior receiver Brandon Green, who had some soreness in his knees last week, returned to practice on Monday and has been cleared to play.

"I thought he practiced much better yesterday. He moved around better," Kill said. "We had a pretty warm day, which is good. That might have helped him a little bit. He did a good, solid job yesterday."

Green is the only receiver with significant experience on Gophers roster, having caught 57 passes, three of them for touchdowns, since 2008.

Unfamiliar foe

Kill said his biggest fear going into Thursday's game at UNLV is what he doesn't know.

Third-year Rebels coach Bobby Hauck changed both coordinators after last year's 2-10 disappointment, promoting defensive backs coach J.D. Williams to defensive coordinator, and assigning tight ends coach Brent Myers to run the offense. New playcallers on both sides of the ball mean all the film of the Rebels that Gophers coaches have watched has only limited value.

"My biggest concerns are the unknown," Kill said Tuesday. "Scheme-wise, you never know what they may or may not do. ... The unexpected is always a concern."

Quarterback Nick Sherry is new as well, a 6-5, 240-pound redshirt freshman whose senior year of high school included more than 2,700 passing yards. He originally committed to Colorado, before a coaching change made him rethink his choice, so he has BCS-level talent.

Considering that UNLV passed for only 1,315 yards over the entire 2011 season, it's safe to say the Rebels are expecting Sherry to help them open their attack a little more.

"I know [Hauck's] football team is going to be better than a year ago," Kill said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 9/22/14 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close