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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Gavin Olsen, OL, Bentley University

Gavin Olsen the massive offensive lineman from Bentley University recently sat down with Justin Berendzen of Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Gavin Olsen
  • Position: OL
  • College: Bentley University
  • Height: 6’9″
  • Weight: 330 lbs
  • Twitter: @geolsen_1k
  • Instagram: @geolsen

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

When I was in middle school, I watched my first NFL Draft. I quickly noticed the emotion of the players as they were selected to pursue a dream that they’d spent their whole lives chasing. I remember feeling proud of those men without even knowing anything about them. I watched as the draft showed highlights from their packed-out college games and clips of their friends and families celebrating them. I hadn’t played football before then, but that was the first time I felt I could be a football player – I saw myself in the offensive linemen on that stage, and I was ready to pursue the sport until I no longer could.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My favorite moments from my football life almost all have to do with my teammates and friends. Looking back on it all, the moments that will carry furthest with me in life are simple ones with teammates on and off the field. The relationships I built with teammates and coaches at Harvard and Bentley will last me my lifetime and I’m forever grateful for the bonds that football helped us create.

What are you looking to achieve as a football player going forward?

Going forward, the only thing I’ll really look to achieve as a football player is to become the best that I physically can be. I wholeheartedly believe that if I focus on my craft and becoming a better player, everything else will fall into place. Of course, everyone dreams of championships, but I’m mostly looking forward to competing as the best version of myself.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

I would love to hang out with JJ Watt. Even though I’ve never really cheered him on as a fan, I think JJ Watt is just a stand-up human being. Whenever I see him in Hard Knocks or any media clip/interview I always think to myself, “Man, that dude is a specimen.” I believe he’s the type of person who’d teach me something just from being in the same room together. His work ethic and humility are both extraordinary and admirable.

Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?

My brother, Cameron, inspires me the most because of his ability to persevere. Cameron struggles with mental illness and he’s been a symbol of strength for me my whole life. He inspires me to live my truth.

What is your favorite offensive scheme and why?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite offensive scheme. Throughout my collegiate career I’ve benefited from having five different offensive line coaches. As a byproduct of that, I’ve been exposed to a variety of different techniques and philosophies. My favorite scheme is the one that gets first downs and scores.

What should we know about Gavin Olsen the person?

You should know that I am an empath, I value connections with others and I’m very trustworthy. I believe that a team is only as strong as its weakest link, and I find more gratification in lifting others up than I do in outperforming them. Additionally, I have a unique work ethic and coaches have often commended my coachability. I am a personable leader with a lot of untapped potential.

What stands out about your film the most?

What stands out about my film the most is my length. Oftentimes an edge rusher will think they’ve bent the corner on me, but I am able to extend the pocket and essentially remove him from the play all together. At 6’9”, a normal speed rush against me will often displace the defender “all the way around” behind the quarterback.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

“Assess and survey” has been a coaching point that has held true to me throughout my collegiate career. As an OT it’s imperative to determine the most immediate threat to the play and work accordingly. The same principle holds true to me in life. I approach challenges in a very organized, strategic way, making sure to focus on the most immediate challenges first as opposed to trying to fix everything at once. Doing so enables me to take a calm, pragmatic approach to high-stress decisions.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team would be getting an intelligent, coachable workhorse. Coaches would concur that I never complain, and players would attest to my being an outlet of positivity. I value efficiency, make decisions very analytically, and I thrive in high-stress roles. I have strong communication skills and I enjoy developing an understanding of those around me. I want nothing more than to become the best player that I can be, and I believe that I’d be a valuable asset to any team.

What do you love the most about the game of football?

The bonds formed between teammates is what I love most about the game of football. There is nothing quite like taking the field to go to battle with your teammates. The goosebumps walking out to the field and the pregame “jitters” are a product of the intense work that you and your teammates have put forth leading up to that moment. I am deeply connected to my teammates and I’m grateful to know that those friendships will last forever.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

The most underrated player I’ve played with was a quarterback named Stephen Sturm at Bentley University. Whenever we played, I had the utmost trust in him to produce. Not only did I think he had a great arm, but he wasn’t afraid to make throws or take off and run with the ball. He lowered his shoulder on contact and always fought for extra yards. He also loved being around the offensive line off the field and never had anything negative to say. I believe, without a doubt, that he could have been a starter at a division one program.

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