Q & A with Ben Olson

The 6-5, 230-pound elite quarterback prospect, <b>Ben Olson</b>, starts classes at UCLA tomorrow. He got us caught up on what's happening with him and how he's getting ready for an early "spring" practice...

Monday we spoke with Ben Olson, the quarterback prospect who is officially transferring from BYU to UCLA.

So, is all your enrollment paperwork in?

"I just completed it today (Monday). So, I'm ready to go."

So, you'll be in classes Thursday, when the winter quarter begins at UCLA?

"Yes. I'm going to class Thursday.  Well, if that's in my class schedule. For this quarter, they're putting together my schedule so I don't know if that means I'm actually in class Thursday or not. But I am enrolled for classes starting Thursday."

How's it feel to be going back to college?

"Kind of weird, really. It's a different adventure I guess. I feel like I've gone on a series of adventures and this is another one. I'm very exciting, about getting every going.  I'm excited about school, and of course excited about football, to learn the offense and everything I need to know."

You have housing, right? You're not commuting from Thousand Oaks...

"No, no. I'd never brave the 405 every day. Yeah, they have housing for me but I don't know who my roommate is yet."

What did you think of UCLA's loss to Wyoming?

"It wasn't the greatest game, to watch either, since I was there. I'm sure it was just as tough a game to be playing.  But in the stands the weather was freezing.  It was all around a tough loss."

Have you spoken to Drew Olson since his injury?

"I haven't. I've meant to call him to see how he's doing.  It's really unfortunate. He's a great guy and it's a tough break."

Does it change your perspective on your own situation?

"Well, first, I was really looking forward to having Drew out on the field with me. I really thought that the situation would be really helpful for me.  I guess now I have to look at it as a good opportunity to come in and get some extra reps, and maybe accelerate the process a little more. You never like to see things happen like this, under these type of circumstances.  But I have to look at it as a good opportunity and try to make the most of what I can out of it."

Have you been doing some recruiting?

"I have."

Care to share who you've been recruiting?

"I really don't want to give that up. By Thursday, when I'm officially enrolled at UCLA, I can't recruit anymore. So I want to get in as many calls as I can in the next couple of days. And actually one guy called me. There are a few positions of need for UCLA and a few guys that would fit those needs. I want this to be a great recruiting class. We're going to build something great at UCLA and we need all the best players to do it. That's exactly what I've been telling the other recruits when I've talked to them."

So, it's been going well?

"Yeah, it's been going well. Hopefully all the guys I've spoken to will want to come to UCLA.  How many scholarships do they have left?"

Not many. Right now, maybe two.

"Well, what if I get all these guys to commit? (laughs). I guess that's a good problem to have."

What do you think of 'spring' practice beginning early?

"I just spoke with (Head) Coach (Karl) Dorrell today. He said that practice starts February 21st.  They're doing it early this year because they need time to renovate the practice fields. April, when they usually have it, might have been a little bit better for me. But it doesn't really matter."

Are you in shape? Have you been working out?

"I think I'm in pretty good shape, but not still close to the shape I'll be in. I'm going to get in really good shape by the time season comes around. I'll be an animal."

So this next month and a half before practice starts should be interesting for you?

"This next month and a half and then the early practice will be a good introduction back into football. I'm sure it's going to feel a little weird since it's been a while. The hardest part I think isn't going to be physical but just picking up the offense."

Have you been doing regular studying of the playbook?

"Oh yeah. (Quaterbacks) Coach (Jim) Svoboda sent me some stuff."

Are you familiar with this type of offense?

"Sure. It's really just getting down the basic terminology.  I'm pretty familiar with the offense, at least somewhat. So a lot of it is just knowing the terminology, what this offense calls things. I just have to get that down.  The thing about this offense is, it's just awesome.  It can be as creative as you want it to be. The sky is really the limit. You just have to be able to execute it."


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