New QB Recruit Sees Championship in Offing

New QB recruit Chris Olsen attended three days of Notre Dame practice sessions with his father and brother, a good-looking junior tight end and linebacker himself. He talked with IrishEyes about his reasons for committing early, choosing Notre Dame over Miami and some 15 other schools and how he believes he can lead the Notre Dame offense even though he is generally considered a drop-back style quarterback.

Copyright by Global Electronic Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes.Com®

August 19, 2001


 By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) – Quarterback Chris Olsen, his father and brother—a good looking junior prospect himself—headed home Sunday from the Notre Dame campus after watching three days of practice and getting a look at the Irish offense he hopes to lead someday.

 Olsen, who is 6-4 and weighs 220, is a solid looking athletic, and was somewhat of a surprise as an early Irish commit because he appears to fit more in a drop-back mold than in the versatile, option offense of offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers.

 If there is any concern, however, it is not from him.

"I'm a dropback quarterback who I think has the ability to run the ball when needed," Olsen told IrishEyes after practice. "I'm not (Michael) Vick, but I have enough that I'm going to be able to escape from the pocket and either run for a first down or find someone open down the field.

"I'm running a similar offense in high school. We're running a lot of waggles, a lot of bootlegs. We run some option. I think our offense is very comparable to what they're doing."

Olsen is highly regarded and was considered a surprise Irish catch. He said Miami offered him a scholarship along with about 16 other schools, including Tennessee.

He said he narrowed his choices down to the Hurricanes and the Irish after visiting Notre Dame in May and attending Miami's football camp in June. "I just thought this was the best place for me to go," said Olsen. "I'm really excited to come out here.

"Eventually, they're going to be national champions within the next four or five years. I think we got a lot of good commitments right now. So, I'm really excited."

Olsen and his father, who coaches him at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, New Jersey, said he is coming into Notre Dame with his eyes wide open about the quarterback situation. He said Davie and Rogers were upfront about the three sophomore quarterbacks, led by designated Nebraska starter Matt LoVecchio, who lives about five minutes away from the Olsens..

"They said their plan was to bring Chris in and definitely redshirt him to put some more space in there (between Olsen and the other three QBs)," said the senior Olsen. LoVecchio will be graduated by the time Olsen is a redshirt sophomore.

"Potentially, it could be a three-year position for Chris," said his father.

Chris Olsen said he wanted to commit early "to get it off my mind before the (high school) season started and we could concentrate on our season."

 His father has been a high school coach for 26 years and coached Chris since his freshman year. As both a dad and a coach, he is pleased with Chris's decision.

 "It's Notre Dame. You think about professional baseball, it's the Yankees," said the senior Olsen. "You talk to some people about basketball, it's still the Boston Celtics. And I think in everyone's eyes, Notre Dame is Notre Dame.

 "It's always been Notre Dame and it's always going to be Notre Dame. The fact that they're back in the national limelight, I think attracted Chris.

 "Obviously, what the school can do for him in the long run, 40 years from now, is never a question mark. I just think they're really ready to take that net step right now and Chris really wants to be part of that."

There's another Olsen in the group. He's a junior in high school right now and plays tight end and linebacker. He's a bit taller than Chris, a tad leaner; but looks rock solid.

 "A lot of schools are going to be interested in him," said the senior Olsen

. For the record, Greg Olsen told IrishEyes he hasn't begun narrowing his preferences, yet.


With two commitments last week, the number of recruits for next year's class is nine. Chris Frome, a 6-5, 240 pound defensive end from California, gave a verbal commitment last week. The other came from wide receiver Josh Hannum, 6-0, 170 from Wallingford, Pa. --30— Top Stories