Kevin Olsen

Ex-Miami QB Kevin Olsen will try to revive career at FCS level

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When last we heard from Kevin Olsen, he and Miami had “parted ways” following some off-the-field incidents.  Three months later, the quarterback is looking to restart his playing career on a lower rung of the collegiate ladder.

Proclaiming this as “a second chance,” Olsen announced via Instagram Thursday that he will attempt to salvage his career at Towson.  As Olsen’s new school — reportedly as they have not yet announced his addition — plays at the FCS level, he would be eligible to play immediately in 2015.

Olsen was arrested in September and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a stolen or fictitious driver’s license following a traffic stop. That off-field misstep came a month and a half after it was reported Olsen would be suspended for the opener, reportedly for failing a drug test.

In mid-September, after the arrest and on the heels of what were multiple suspensions, UM announced that Olsen was “no longer a student at the University of Miami.”

Olsen had been involved in the Hurricanes’ quarterback competition throughout this past offseason, a competition that was eventually whittled down to Kansas transfer Jake Heaps and true freshman Brad Kaaya.  The latter ultimately won the job, and went on to become one of the best young quarterbacks in any FBS conference.

A four-star member of Miami’s 2013 recruiting class, Olsen was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country.  He’s the younger brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen.

Kevin Olsen ‘no longer a student at Miami’

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And just like that, Kevin Olsen‘s very brief career as a Miami Hurricane football player has come to an end.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Miami confirmed the expected by announcing that the erstwhile UM quarterback no longer a part of either the football team or the university. “Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami. We wish him the very best in the future,” a statement from the school read.

The separation, needless to say, was far from a mutual decision by both parties.

Olsen was arrested very early Monday morning and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a stolen or fictitious driver’s license following a traffic stop. That off-field misstep came a month and a half after it was reported Olsen would be suspended for the opener, reportedly for failing a drug test.

Olsen had been involved in the Hurricanes’ quarterback competition throughout the offseason, which was eventually whittled down to Kansas transfer Jake Heaps and true freshman Brad Kaaya.  The latter ultimately won the job.

A four-star member of Miami’s 2013 recruiting class, Olsen was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country.  He’s the younger brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen.

During his two years with the ‘Canes, Olsen did not attempt a pass.

Miami’s Kevin Olsen charged with DUI

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Very early last month it was reported that Kevin Olsen would be suspended for at least one game to start the 2014 season after failing a drug test.

A month and a half later, Olsen finds himself with an even bigger issue, one that puts his future with Miami very much up in the air.

According to multiple media outlets, Olsen was arrested very early Monday morning and charged with driving under the influence.  Olsen was also charged with possession of a stolen or fictitious driver’s license.

There were no details as to what led to the charges.  The school has yet to comment on what if any punishment Olsen may be facing.

Olsen had been involved in the Hurricanes’ quarterback competition throughout the offseason, which was eventually whittled down to Kansas transfer Jake Heaps and true freshman Brad Kaaya.  The latter ultimately won the job.

A four-star member of Miami’s 2013 recruiting class, Olsen was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country.  He’s the younger brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen.

Al Golden picks true freshman to be Miami’s starting QB

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Ryan Williamsoffseason injury paved the way for a true freshman to become the starting quarterback of the Miami Hurricanes.

Brad Kaaya will be the starter,” Miami head coach Al Golden told the Miami Herald‘s Susan Miller Degnan. “Jake (Heaps) understands exactly what he needs to do in terms of getting ready and supporting Brad, and Brad knows that the competition is going to continue.

“We’ve got a long way to go in terms of the season. There’s competition at every position.”

It comes as a surprise for Golden to name Kaaya the starter. The freshman wasn’t an early enrollee, while Heaps was a senior transfer. It wasn’t too long ago Heaps was considered the favorite to win the job. In a close competition, though, the younger player usually gets the nod.

“It was a tight battle,” Golden stated. “It was a battle that none of us, including you guys, could have foresaw at the end of June or beginning of July or maybe even at the beginning of camp. I’m excited about that position.”

Kaaya was considered a four-star recruit and ranked by Rivals.com as the eighth-best quarterback prospect in the nation. While Heaps had an advantage in experience, he didn’t clearly outplay Kaaya. At 6-4 and 206 pounds, Kaaya fits the mold as a traditional pocket passer to play in Golden’s system.

“He’s really maturing,” Golden said. “We’re putting him in a tough environment every day in terms of the music [UM blasts at practice]. I think the biggest thing now is to get him to… because we don’t have our whole offense in for the opener, he’ll improve by leaps and bounds in the next three or four days.”

The most interesting aspect of Golden’s decision is how the coach handles the situation moving forward. Golden already stated the competition will continue. Kaaya isn’t guaranteed anything beyond starting the season opener. If and when Kaaya struggles, Golden may quickly switch to Heaps.

There is also the question of what happens if Kaaya embraces the position and how the Hurricanes move forward with a recovering Williams and improved Kevin Olsen champing at the bit to start in 2015.

But Kaaya has to prove himself first. The freshman already gained the trust of his coaches. It’s now time to prove he can make plays during live game action.

“If he wasn’t here for 13 weeks before preseason camp plus three now, I don’t think we would be having this conversation,” Golden said. “That combined with the fact that he made incredible sacrifices personally, and he’s smart, and he’s disciplined. He is one of those guys that got better incrementally every day so here we are.”

And a trip to Louisville to open the season against a Cardinals’ defense, which was ranked No. 1 overall last season, is as tough as it gets for an 18-year old quarterback making his first start as collegiate quarterback.
(Photo courtesy of the University of Miami athletic department)

Miami’s two-man QB race between senior and freshman

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The Miami Hurricanes welcomed Kansas-transfer Jake Heaps to the program this summer, giving the former BYU and Kansas player a chance to thrive in a new environment with some more offensive talent around him. Heaps has stated he wants to be the starter for Miami, and it appears he is making a push for the starting job with the new season now just a couple of weeks away.

Miami released the first depth chart since opening fall camp on Thursday. Heaps is listed in the starting quarterback position, but so is freshman Brad Kaaya, whose name actually appears first. Kaaya was a four-star quarterback recruit in Miami’s Class of 2014 according to Rivals. Miami head coach Al Golden said the order of the names on the depth chart was irrelevant, so there is no use reading into the depth chart order right now.

“I’m not very good at the alphabet I guess,” Golden joked, per The Miami Herald. Golden did have some positive things to say about Heaps, but is standing by his depth chart update for the time being until he feels more comfortable about making a final decision.

Again, per The Miami Herald;

“I thought Jake had a really good morning [Thursday],” Golden said. “You really have to take into consideration who’s out there in each series and who they’re going against. It’s really hard to quantify that into a little sound byte. Maybe Brad was a little ahead [in Wednesday’s scrimmage] and Jake answered today, whatever the case may be.”

Kevin Olsen, who will be suspended for the season opener, was not listed on the depth chart. Golden has suggested previously Olsen has not been eliminated from the bigger picture regarding the quarterback competition.

Miami opens the 2014 season on the road against Louisville on Labor Day. It will be Louisville’s first ACC game and the Cardinals will be suiting up in an all-black alternate look before a fired up crowd. Golden may end up feeling he will need a veteran quarterback to start the season in such an environment.