Each month, I will showcase a current Denver Broncos player and inform you of their lives and accomplishments before coming to Denver. In doing so, I hope to shine a light on each players own unique journey on the road to Mile High. This months featured player is offensive lineman Eric Olsen.
Eric Olsen was born on June 16, 1988 to Andrew and Joanne Olsen in Staten Island, New York. He began his football career at Poly Prep School in Brooklyn, where he played both offense and defense for coaches Dino Mangiero, a six year NFL defensive end and member of the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame, and Craig Jacoby. As an offense tackle, Olsen played extremely well, never allowing a single sack to the quarterback from his position and helping produce a 1,000 yard rusher in each of the three seasons he started. While at the defense end spot, he recorded 53 tackles, eight sacks, and forced three fumbles. For his efforts, Olsen earned Advance All-Star honors and the Gatorade Player of the Year Award in 2005. Along with football, Olsen also competed on the schools lacrosse team, where he scored 50 goals as a junior and helped lead Poly Prep to a league title.
Olsen accepted a scholarship to play collegiate football for the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame under the tutelage of head coach Charlie Weis. He did not start as a true freshman, but did play in eight games during the season. As a sophomore, Olsen was a backup guard and played mainly on special teams in the early part of the season. He made his first start for the Irish at right guard against Boston College and finished out the remaining five games of the season as starter. Olsen moved to left guard and started all 13 games as a junior, allowing just three sacks in 447 pass attempts. For his senior season at Notre Dame, he moved to center and started in all 12 games as a team captain, allowing only one sack in 450 pass attempts. His accomplishments earned him the Guardian of the Year Award as Notre Dame’s top offensive lineman and third-team All-American honors from The Sporting News. He graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design.
As a professional draft prospect, Olsen was one of the top performers at his position at the bench press, vertical jump, and three-cone drill. He was a projected fifth or sixth round draft pick, and was selected by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round (183rd overall pick) of the 2010 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, Olsen made his NFL debut on the field goal protection unit against the Seattle Seahawks on September 19, 2010.
Although he only played in one game for the Denver Broncos his rookie season, Eric Olsen is a hardworking, versatile player with good size and strength that will be a huge asset for the Broncos in 2011 and into the future.
Follow Dustin on Twitter.
Make sure to follow Predominantly Orange on Facebook.