August 19, 2009

LT Jake Olson answers questions

If there is one position that Central Michigan has been consistent at over the years, it's the offensive line. CMU has sent numerous "bubs" to the NFL recently, including Joe Staley, Andrew Hartline, Adam Kieft, Drew Mormino and Eric Ghiaciuc. Three of those players (Staley, Hartline and Kieft) were responsible for handling the quarterback's blind side at left tackle. Stepping into those vacated shoes is redshirt freshman Jake Olson. And don't think the 6-foot-8, 282 pound Olson doesn't realize the legacy he has inherited.

"I don't feel any pressure, but I don't want to let any of those guys down," said Olson. "The starting tackles last year, Andrew Hartline and Greg Wojt are good friends of mine and I still keep in contact with them. But, knowing the tradition of the "bubs" here, you don't want to let any of them down".

Olson has seen his first extended action as a starter during the spring and now in the summer. He has drawn solid reviews from the coaching staff and feels he's coming into his own as a player.

"I think I've gotten better as practice has gone on. I also think as a unit the offensive line is improving".

Olson came to CMU via Hartford Union High School and was coached by former CMU quarterback Brian Brunner's father. Upon arriving on campus, Olson was listed at 237 pounds and now has gained nearly fifty pounds in his quest to become the Chippewas starting left tackle. To do that, Olson has had to dedicate himself to eating properly and adding good weight.

"You know, sometime eating gets old," smiled Olson. "But you still have to do it; I'm weighing about 280 right now".

People may scrutinize Olson because he's not the atypical 300 pound offensive lineman, but being lighter has its benefits, especially in a spread offense like CMU runs.

"I feel my athleticism is a strength of mine," said Olson. "I would say my mindset and knowing the plays are other strengths, I've just learned from the older players on the offensive line".

As the penciled in starter at left tackle, Olson has also seen plenty of repetitions from the defensive line and offered his thoughts on what players across from him have stood out.

"Frank Zombo, Larry Knight and Sam Williams. Those are the three guys I usually see and they bring it every play".

Many have looked at the Chippewas offensive line and singled out the inexperience as a reason why the O-line will be a weakness. Jake Olson was asked whether the offensive line would be a strength this year and gave a quick, decisive answer.

"Yes".

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