Four-star quarterback Kevin Olsen was leaning toward Miami for a while, and during a meeting late Thursday with his parents the Wayne (N.J.) Hills High star decided it was time to end his recruitment.
The 6-foot-3, 197-pound Olsen called Hurricanes coach Al Golden just after noon Friday and gave a non-binding oral commitment, giving the Hurricanes its coveted quarterback in the 2013 class. Olsen was also considering Wisconsin and Auburn.
“I feel like coach Golden has the program going in a great direction right now,” Olsen said. “I feel like in a couple of years Miami is going to be where it was in the past. At the end of the day, I really wanted to be part of that.”
Olsen was the top uncommitted quarterback in the 2013 class, but that ended with his call to Golden.
TAKE A LOOK
Go inside to see Kevin Olsen in action earlier this week.
And he is going to a program the family knows plenty about.
Olsen’s brother, Greg, who is a tight end with the Carolina Panthers, played at Miami.
“(Greg) has insight, but more along the lines of recruiting and stuff like that, and what goes on there,” Olsen said. “Miami has different coaches and it’s kind of a different thing down there when he went there than it is now.”
The Hurricanes were long considered the front runner because of the style of offense, the familiarity of the campus, the visibility of the program and the academic prestige.
“I was leaning toward that a little bit and last night I sat down and said ‘This is where I want to go,’ to my parents,” Olsen said. “They said, ‘Great.’ It kind of went from there.”
Another crucial aspect for Olsen was the breakdown of the depth chart.
His three finalists each had a quarterback with two years of eligibility remaining, meaning he would sit and learn his first year and then compete for a starting spot as a red-shirt freshman.
“I think I want to come in and red-shirt, learn the offense and stuff like that,” he said. “Then, I can compete for a job the next year.”
As a junior, Olsen completed 124 of 205 passes for 1,686 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions while leading Wayne Hills to the state title.
His father, Chris, doubles as Wayne Hills’ coach, and neither of them wanted a decision to drag into the summer and impact preparation for the season.
“It feels good,” Olsen said of committing. “I can focus on what my real goal is right now, trying to win an eighth state championship in my dad’s final year. I didn’t really want that decision over my head. I knew the time would be now and I went from there.”