PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Joey Olsen is only a junior at Lakeridge, but the tight end already has his future planned out more than most adults.
Last week, Olsen verbally committed to USC and with his commitment became the first big-time Oregon high school football prospect in the Class of 2024 to pledge to a college program.
“Honestly, once I got the offer, it just felt right,” said Olsen, who recently visited USC. “All of the tradition throughout so many years of great USC football, you can feel it, and you can feel it in the people who are there and the coaching staff and the players. You can feel it radiating throughout, and they know they’re building something special there.”
Joey’s head coach Spencer Phillips met him in eighth grade and instantly knew Joey was special, not only as a player but as a person. The thing Phillips is the proudest of Olsen about throughout his journey to high-level DI football makes a lot of sense.
“The way that he’s done it. He’s done it the right way,” said Phillips. “He always puts his teammates first. He’s always encouraging his teammates. He’s always trying to bring someone along with him. It’s a blessing when your best player is your hardest worker, so to see him grow up and mature, not just on the field but as a person, has been the most rewarding thing.”
Having his future already planned out is also rewarding for Joey, who says he views his Lakeridge football team as family.
“It’s a nice weight off my shoulders. I can go out there now with my friends and play football on Friday nights and just have fun,” said Joey with a huge grin.
And Olsen’s Lakeridge football family is going to treasure ever fun moment they have left with him.
“I kind of miss him already,” said Phillips. “I’ve got two more seasons with him, but you just wish you had more kids who really were as good of a teammate as him.”