The Olsen Files notebook: Day 9
Day 9: April 11, 2012
It’s been 10 days since we last had an Olsen encounter. I’m not gonna lie, I miss being around them. Like I have said many times, I almost feel like another brother in the Olsen family. The main reason is due to their generosity, warmth and welcoming demeanor. We will definitely make up for lost time in these next two weeks. They will be busy and informative.
Producer Tony D’Angelo and I are making the trip down the Charlotte, N.C. It’s Easter break and the Olsens are visiting their son Greg, who plays tight end for the Carolina Panthers. Kara, Greg’s wife, and their infant son, Tate, welcomed us with open arms.
Tony and I arrived around 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. As soon as soon as we landed, my phone rang. It was coach asking where we are and that everyone is waiting for us to go to dinner. Tony and I scrambled to the rental car and shot to downtown Charlotte where Greg and Kara reside. What a beautiful place. It’s clean, has beautiful homes and best of all, everyone is friendly.
We met them at Greg’s house and then headed to dinner. They picked a cool local sports BBQ chain restaurant close to their home. It was perfect; must have had 1,000 big screen TVs in the place. My kind of joint!
It was relaxing, fun and absolutely entertaining. Hearing a lot of Greg’s stories and watching mom and coach spend time with their first grandchild. The meal was great and the company, even better.
On Thursday we had an early morning wake-up, as we had to be on the road by 7 a.m.
We were making the road trip to The University of South Carolina, which is where Kevin is making his third unofficial visit. It was about 90 miles south of Greg’s home in Charlotte.
USC is gorgeous and it is rich with southern culture, tradition and right down to the palm trees. My only knock on the campus is that it is too spread out.
The football facility was not walking distance from campus or the dorms, which I sensed raised some concern for Kevin and his family. Kevin, Greg and coach did the campus tour, had academic meetings, plus Athletic Director meetings and then watched film with coach Mangus, the offensive coordinator at South Carolina.
Tony and Marty (our cameraman), and I parted with the Olsens to continue getting shots of the campus and later began taking our own little tour.
We rendezvoused back at the stadium, spoke with coach Mangus and got to watch the team practice. South Carolina is fast, athletic and has two of the most impressive looking defensive ends that I have ever seen. Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney, both are over 6-foot-7 and both are machines who are truly impressive.
After practice Tony and I headed back to our hotel, got a bite to eat and passed out from the 15-hour day. It was a good trip; Kevin really enjoyed his time with coach Mangus and, of course, with head coach Steve Spurrier, who is also a former Heisman trophy winning QB from the University of Florida.
I also have to mention that Spurrier was a first round draft pick in 1967 by the San Francisco 49ers. He has been regarded as the Top QB guru throughout the nation and loves the way Kevin delivers the ball. The HBC (Head Ball Coach) is quite the character!