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Continued: Reusse: U's Tommy Olson front and center when called

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 9, 2013 - 12:35 AM

“The only time I’d really snapped the ball much was working with the ‘burger’ team in two-a-days my first year here,’’ Olson said. “I was so bad at it that we really couldn’t run the plays.’’

“Burger,’’ as in hamburger, as in scout team.

There was open competition between Jon Christenson, a more experienced center, and Olson in preseason camp. The coaches settled on Christenson. Olson mostly watched the offense for eight games. His moment of notoriety was snaring three squib kicks against Michigan and rumbling forward for a total of 30 yards.

And then came the first half vs. Indiana, and a gruesome moment in which Christenson broke his leg, and the Gophers’ center suddenly was Tommy Olson. Christenson underwent surgery and is done for the season.

His brother Ed, now a fifth-year senior, is the starter and alternating with Ben Lauer at left tackle.

“It didn’t look like there would be a chance to start another game with my brother,’’ Tommy said. “Not the way you want it to happen — Jon’s such a great guy, such a dedicated player — but the team needs me now, and I’m going to do this job.’’

And as he works at doing so, it will be humbly and happily, and as a Gopher through and through.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500.

preusse@startribune.com

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