He was one of the most highly coveted quarterbacks in the Class of 2001 before he signed with BYU, but Ben Olson confirmed this morning he won't be headed back to Provo. He has two Univ. of California-system schools at the top of his list and could pull the trigger this weekend on where he'll sign.
Three schools have made the cut and this much is for sure: the 6-foot-5 redheaded lefty will be taking classes in January at a Pac 10 school...
We caught up with Olson today as he was headed home from a workout and prior to his traveling south on the 405 freeway to check out UCLA and the Bruins' preparation for their Las Vegas Bowl appearance.
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Olson said his official visit to Cal last weekend, his last to take, was "awesome. Coach (Jeff) Tedford is the man. I had a great time and it's making it that much harder to pick."
The Thousand Oaks High alum said UCLA and Cal are his top two with ASU still in the hunt, saying, "There's not a huge advantage between the California schools and ASU."
Olson says he could decide as early as this weekend which program he'll head to in January, but is certain where he won't be going.
"I've crossed BYU off my list," Olson said. "It's sad, I could have seen myself going back there if the conditions were right, but I've never met the new head coach (Bronco Mendenhall) and the new offensive coordinator (Rober Anae) has never been a coordinator before so it's all so uncertain there. I will say this though: I love BYU and would send my kids there, it just didn't work out on the football side, especially the timing."
As for his final three, the recently returned missionary lists what he likes about each:
ASU: "great program, a lot of young and talented players, great coaches and a good opportunity to play early."
Cal: "I love Tedford and the offense, the program is successful and will continue to be successful. The players are really cool also."
UCLA: "close to home, opportunity to play earlier, favorite school growing up, and again I like the coaches."
So who's it going to be? Ben admits he honestly doesn't know. "I'm waiting for my heart to tell me where to go. I want to get it done, I want to know where I'll be going by Christmas."