Olivea rebounding well from ankle injury

Dave Biddle recently had a chance to catch up with OSU offensive lineman Shane Olivea. Shane talks about the offensive line, his injury, and more... and he also reveals a little secret at the end.

Shane Olivea was having the game of his life during Ohio State's 26-20 win over Michigan last year.

He and the Buckeye offensive line were plowing holes open for Jonathan Wells - helping the Buckeyes build a commanding first-half lead.

But Olivea's day (and season) came to an early end when he suffered a broken ankle late in the second quarter.

"Yeah, it was kind of bittersweet," Olivea told Bucknuts.com. "It was tough to sit down and watch, especially after helping the team out to a good lead and everything... In the second half, I was very medicated up and couldn't totally focus on the game. I just remember wanting to be out there. But, we won and it was a great team win."

Olivea (6-4, 320, Jr.), a native of Cedarhurst, N.Y., almost didn't end up as a Buckeye. He originally committed to Georgia Tech before finally having a change of heart less than two weeks from signing day.

"The offensive line coach from Georgia Tech left," Olivea said. "He was probably the main reason I committed there. I told the coaches from Ohio State (John Cooper regime at the time) that I was going to go to Georgia Tech and they said, 'If you want to keep us in mind, we'll always have a scholarship for you.' So, about 10 days before the signing period or so, I called back up Ohio State and told them I was probably going to de-commit and I wanted to look at them again. So, I took another visit (unofficial) to Ohio State that weekend and I'd say about a week before the signing period I committed to Ohio State."

We sure are glad Olivea changed his mind. Is he?

"I'm definitely happy that I made the decision to come here - everything is working out for the best for me. I really like Columbus."

Olivea doesn't go back to New York all that much. He plans to make just one trip to his hometown between now and December.

"I just went to New York this weekend, I'll go back maybe sometime in July and that's it until Christmas break. I'm going to stick around here pretty much all summer and just work out and maybe do some summer school. I just want to work out and re-hab and get back in shape."

Olivea says his ankle is coming along well.

"I'm at about 85, or 90 percent. I'm starting to run now with the team and pretty much do everything the team is doing right now."

No worries about being 100 percent in time for the season?

"Not at all. I'm full-go from the doctors, everything is totally healed. I got really lucky because it was a clean break, there wasn't any ligament damage or anything. I'm just looking forward to working out a lot this summer and getting back to where I was and better."

Olivea was a two-time, first-team all-state selection in high school (Lawrence) and was also named honorable mention All-American by USA Today.

Due the loss of Tyson Walter at the start of the 2000 season, Olivea was forced to play as a true freshman as the backup right tackle. He played four games that year, giving him experience and confidence heading into the 2001 campaign, where he started 11 games.

Now heading into his third year, Olivea wants to give all the O-Line doubters a cold glass of shut-the-heck-up.

"I definitely think we have a good line. People can say we're not, but they don't really know what they are talking about. You can't put our starting defensive line against guys that have never played a snap here and expect them to come out and do well. They were kind of thrown to the wolves this spring... But I definitely think we'll be good. When myself and Adrien (Clarke) and everyone comes back together, I think the questions are going to answer themselves."

Olivea was then asked to pinpoint the strength of the team. With my vague question, I was looking for him to name a position - like the defensive line or the wide receivers. But Olivea dug much deeper than that.

"We are just a lot closer. There is just genuine care for everyone, care for each player, care for everyone in the program. Since the new coaches arrived, it's been a happy environment to play here and go to school here. I think the togetherness of the team is our strong point."

Olivea especially enjoys working with offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Jim Bollman.

"I like him a lot. He's definitely been a big impact on my career here and he's only going to help me get better and help everyone else get better. He definitely brings something different to the table, he brings a different attitude which I think we need and everyone likes. I think when he speaks everyone listens and respects what he has to say because he's been in the NFL and has coached for many years and he knows what it takes to get in done. He's just so knowledgeable and just wants to make you a better ballplayer and a better team."

Finally, Olivea was asked how often he reads up on the Buckeyes on the web.

"You'd be surprised how much our guys are on there. As for me, Bucknuts is my site. I'm on there every day."

Glad to have you Big Shane!


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