Unlike most collegiate programs the University of Miami runs a pro-style offense out of the I-formation, which allows for many two tight end sets. This pro-style preaches balance and distributing the ball to all the receivers. In each of the last 3 seasons the leader of the team in receptions has been a tight end.
Greg fits the mold of another UM tight end that will give the defenses troubles. Like his predecessors Olsen has the size, 6-foot-6 and 247 pounds, and speed that gives defenders trouble. He is too fast to be covered by a linebacker and to big to be covered by a defensive back.
"We cause a lot of mismatches," Olsen said. "A lot of teams think that when we get into the two tight end set that it's going to be a lot of running the ball, but we can also do a lot of things in the throwing game. I really think it poses some mismatches and trouble for the defense"
Tight end has been a focal point in the offense since 1999. Since then Miami has produced Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, and Kellen Winslow Jr., all of whom went on to become all-Americans and first round draft picks for the NFL. Olsen learned a lot while redshirting last year by observing and picking Winslow's brain, just like Winslow learned by watching Shockey.
"I learned a lot, just by being able to watch him, and talk to him," Olsen said. "I think he taught all the guys. He (Winslow) learned from Shockey, we (TE's) just kinda pass it down the ranks. He showed how the game should be played, he played with a lot of passion and emotion."
What sets the University of Miami apart from other schools when it comes to breeding tight ends? Olsen says that it is the competition in practice that makes UM different from other schools in preparing for the NFL.
"We are out here against great competition, the practices are fast. We are playing against great athletes, and that competition carries over to the next level," Olsen said.
Olsen, second on the depth chart behind senior Kevin Everett, is settling into the offense nicely in his first year. This season Olsen has six receptions for a total of 104 yards, an average of 17.3 yards per catch. The biggest adjustment Olsen had to make was to the speed of the game.
"The last game I played before Florida State was a high school game. I hadn't played a game in almost a year and a half, so it felt different but once you get out there your instincts kick in and you just kinda go with it. It's (the offense) a little more complex, but I think you just have to get used to the game speed and get used to thinking on the run. Once you get that, and you feel comfortable, you can do a lot more things."
Known for his work ethic, Olsen is never satisfied with where his game is. Even though Olsen has gotten off to a good start, he still sees room for improvement in both his blocking and receiving.
"I try to develop both, I have a lot of work to do in both. I am just trying to become as complete as I can."
Olsen says the offense is looking good in practice last week in their preparation for Louisville.
"I think we are doing real well. Everyone is having a great week in practice, I think we have a great scheme, I think we are going to do real well."
Another Great TE?
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