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Wayne (N.J.) Hills quarterback Kevin Olsen's family has been in the spotlight for nearly his entire life.
His oldest brother Christian was a highly touted recruit who originally committed to Notre Dame before winding up under center at Virginia. His other brother Greg also enrolled at Notre Dame before leaving for Miami. He eventually ended up as a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. And Olsen's father, Chris, coached all three boys at Wayne Hills, where he is an eight-time state champion.
|ESPN 150 QB Kevin Olsen will follow in the footsteps of his older brother Greg, a tight end on the Carolina Panthers, and play at Miami.|
Now it's the youngest Olsen's turn to shine. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Miami commit is the nation's fifth-best pocket passer and the No. 65 overall prospect in the ESPN 150. Olsen took a big step toward blazing his own trail on Thursday, earning his game jersey as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Amour All-America Game. With that honor, he becomes the first member of his family to participate in the contest.
And Olsen is fully embracing his time in the spotlight.
"I enjoyed watching my brothers play growing up and my dad coaching," Olsen said. "I knew when I got to high school I was going to be like my brothers were in high school. I like it and I kind of enjoy it."
With such a rich family pedigree, Chris doesn't think Kevin always gets the credit he deserves for putting in several years of hard work.
"People don't realize how hard Kevin's worked to get where he is," Chris said. "It wasn't by accident."
His selection to the UA Game is a testament to that hard-working nature. Having competed in the Elite 11 this summer, Olsen is looking forward to renewing acquaintances at the January contest with fellow Elite 11 finalists Christian Hackenberg, Shane Morris and Brice Ramsey.
"I know some of the quarterbacks playing and it'll be good to see those guys again," he said. "It's good just [being around] guys who are going to be like you eventually."
The Under Armour Game will be a nice end for both Olsen and his father. The last 12 months has presented the family with its share of struggles on and off the field. Chris was relieved of his duties as the school's athletic director last winter and there is a strong possibility this will be his final year as football coach.
Olsen suffered a broken foot in the third quarter of the season opener and could be sidelined until the playoffs. Being off the field has been especially hard as he's led Wayne Hills to state championships in each of the past two seasons. Olsen will see his Charlotte-based doctor next Tuesday and will get a more definitive answer for his return to the field.
Whether Olsen's right foot is healed in time for another playoff run is up in the air, but it's clear the Under Armour Game will be his final tune-up before heading to Miami. It could also be his father's last time on the sidelines as Chris will serve as one of the coaches for the game.
"I'm happy he's one of our coaches, and it's going to be like a high school practice," Olsen said. "It's probably the last time he'll ever coach me in something officially, and I'm happy for it."