GopherDigest.com: I'll start with saying you actually committed to Minnesota when Brewster was here, what was he like as a recruiter?
Olson: I only knew him as a recruiter and never played as he was fired before I got there, but I absolutely loved him. I was really close with him and was really sad when I first heard the news of him leaving.
GopherDigest.com: You were the first commitment for the 2011 class as I believe you committed back in 2009, why was it such an easy decision for you?
Olson: I grew up loving the Gophers and never missed a home game. I would always go to either the Iowa or Wisconsin away game too. My brother had just signed and it felt like a no-brainer. I was on Eddie's visit to the U and was being recruited by them since I went to their camp in 8th grade, so it felt like the right choice.
GopherDigest.com: Once you committed, did any schools offer and try and get you to visit?
Olson: A lot of them kept recruiting me. I only took one unofficial visit and that was to Florida. All of the Big Ten schools, Alabama, Oregon, Miami, LSU and Stanford would have coaches come visit me at school. For example, Coach Tressel from Ohio State came by and said, "if you take a visit, we'd offer ya". That was the story with most schools as if I would have shown interest, they said they would have offered.
GopherDigest.com: Did any schools try to jump back in when Brewster was fired?
Olson: Yeah all of them did. I was loyal to the Gophers, but selfishly looking back on it, it would have been so cool to go visit those schools. I should have told the U I was still committed, but taken advantage of the 5 official visits just like the free agents in the NBA do. Hypothetically, I would have visited Ohio State, and Stanford would have been up there, but I would have come to Minnesota regardless.
GopherDigest.com: How soon after Kill was hired did you actually hear from him?
Olson: The first weekend of his hiring was my official visit with Peter Westerhaus and Devin Crawford-Tuffs, so pretty quickly. He was super nice and I loved him right off the bat.
The Fifth Quarter: Logan Hutton
GopherDigest.com: And how was playing as a true freshman in the Big Ten?
Olson: I mean it was my goal for awhile to start as a freshman and when I did against Purdue, it was a blast. I mean it was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
GopherDigest.com: Any moment from your early years where it hit you that this was big time football?
Olson: Probably the USC game. I was on the kickoff return team and ran out there in the the Coliseum and couldn't hear a thing. The crowd was so loud and right then I knew I wasn't at Mahtomedi anymore.
GopherDigest.com: What was it like to play with your brother Eddie for the first few years of your career?
Olson: It was a dream come true. We worked for that since we were little playing in the backyard.
GopherDigest.com: How tough was it those first few years when you guys weren't winning a ton of games?
Olson: It was tough and required a little grinding there, but you had to remember you're playing football for the University of Minnesota. That had been a dream of mine all my life, so it was too bad at all.
GopherDigest.com: And what was one of the rougher times for you in your career?
Olson: Probably when I got hurt my sophomore year and was out four games. It's just tough getting hurt and mentally have to stay in it. I'm glad I had my brother and Mikey (Henry) to get through it as they were always there supporting me. Whenever I was down, they'd do something fun for me after practice like go to a movie or go out to eat. Also going home every Sunday after film helped too."
The Fifth Quarter: Grayson Levine
GopherDigest.com: Speaking of cheering people up, I think Minnesota fans have seen enough videos to know that you can dance a little bit, how'd that all start?
Olson: Well my dad is a great dancer and growing up I'd always be dancing. I won a couple of dance offs growing up in middle school and still am pretty proud of our senior boys dance from high school as I helped create it. It just seemed like growing up whenever there was music, I'd be the first one dancing.
GopherDigest.com: I'm guessing you were the only lineman to challenge any of the skill position guys in that category
Olson: Yeah most of the time. Me, Theiren Cockra and Everett Williams called ourselves "The Block" because our lockers were in a row and we all would dance and joke around before and after practice. I don't really want to say it because it might sound a little cocky, but I might of been a top three dancer on the team.
GopherDigest.com: And what were a couple of moments from your career that you'll always remember?
Olson: Definitely taking my helmet off and watching the entire fourth quarter against Iowa and just being able to soak that huge win in this past year. The comeback win at Nebraska this past year and that locker room scene after the game. Also, my junior year when I started playing again at Indiana and Coach Limegrover said he was so proud of me. Those are all moments I'll never forget.
GopherDigest.com: Can you tell me a little bit more about that moment with Limegrover?
Olson: Well I had been backing up Jon Christenson all year and was having a great time playing special teams, but at the end of the day, you always want to be on the field. So after the game when Jon went down, he said he was so proud of me for being able to wait it out and from then on, I never really looked back and had the best time from that point on.
GopherDigest.com: So you're relationship with Limegrover was pretty good huh?
Olson: Yeah, he's a great guy. Always just honest with you and over the four years, we became really close and I'll miss seeing him because he was such a great guy to be around. As far as his coaching style, I don't really know how to describe it. I'd just say he knew exactly what to do at the right moment. His attention to detail rubs off on you and you realize after four years there what an unbelievable coach he was.
The Fifth Quarter: Zac Epping
GopherDigest.com: And what was your relationship with Coach Kill like?
Olson: It was great. I got really close with him senior year and couldn't have more respect for him. He's just a nice, funny guy that's always in a great mood. He's always just living life to the fullest.
GopherDigest.com: Any particular pancake or block that you'll always remember?
Olson: Probably my junior year against UNLV on the kickoff return coming out of halftime when Marcus took it to the house. Ernie Heifort and I double teamed guys in our kickoff return scheme every time. We called ourselves the "MOA" because we'd try to maul guys. On that UNLV play, we took our guy and put him over their bench on the sidelines. One of my best blocks ever.
GopherDigest.com: How close was the offensive line over the years?
Olson: I'd say pretty close. I mean you're with those guys everyday so you build a great relationship with them. I'd say some of my best friends on the team were probably Nick Rallis, Matt Leidner, Mitch Leidner and Jonah Pirsig. I was great friends with all the guys though, so it's hard to say.
GopherDigest.com: And why'd you decide to not pursue an NFL career?
Olson: After the bowl game, I sat down with the family and we talked about it. I realized then that I still loved the game of football, but had lost the passion of working for it. So much goes into training for football and I wasn't 100% into it, so I decided not to pursue the NFL.
The Fifth Quarter: Drew Goodger
GopherDigest.com: So what are you up to now after graduation?
Olson: I moved him home and am taking the year to try and lose some weight. I'm also just hanging out with friends, doing some traveling, and talk on KFAN once a week. It's pretty nice. I'm down about 80 pounds and I've been traveling to Los Angeles and have plans on going to Germany and Australia. I was 315 and now I'm 235.
GopherDigest.com: You know you have to tell me what your secret is.
Olson: Low to no carbs and just workout everyday. I used to have to force feed myself to stay at that weight. The first forty pounds fell off easily and then it was just steady with the next forty. I'm eating a lot of chicken and steak, plus veggies and not so much fruit. My goal is to lose 100 pounds in one year.
GopherDigest.com: Anything else you want Gopher fans to know?
Olson: I had the time of my life there and will always love being a Gopher. I am anxious to watch games again, but will definitely miss it. Thanks for all the support over the years.