October 5, 2001

Scouting Report: Ben Olson

The following scouting report on Thousand Oaks, Calif., pro-style quarterback Ben Olson was compiled following Thousand Oak's game against Westlake Villiage.

Ben Olson is ranked the nation's No. 1 quarterback by Rivals100.com. After watching Olson lead Thousand Oaks to a 21-14 victory over Westlake Village, it's easy to see why he's earned such a lofty ranking.

Here's a scouting report that breaks down the play of the southpaw signal caller:

Command of the game: Olson knows what he's doing behind center. He leads his team well. Down by seven at half, Olson proceeded to lead his team back to victory, even after his first play from scrimmage in the second half resulted in an interception. Basically, he showed that he could overcome adversity. Another thing that was very impressive was his ability to play within himself. On film from last year, it seemed like Olson oftentimes tried to do too much. This year, it's obvious that he's letting the plays come to him more than he is forcing the situations. That development shows real progress as a quarterback. Grade: 8

Grading Scale
10 - As good as it gets
7.5 - Blue Chip level
5 - Division I player level
2.5 - Needs significant improvement

Arm: You're not going to find a stronger arm over 40 yards than Olson's. Many of his intermediate passes finish high because he has so much velocity on them. It's like a pitcher whose fastball rises when it nears the plate. His arm could be the strongest in the country. His delivery is over the top with no hitch whatsoever. The release is quick. Grade: 10

Accuracy:  His passes tail on him a little bit at times and he needs to learn how to use a little more touch. But of the 20 passes that I charted, only two were poorly off target. Five others needed a different amount of touch, or would have been better throws if thrown with a different speed. But 13 out of 20 is very good. He does not lose much accuracy when he needs more velocity. His normal ball is very speedy, so it doesn’t cause much concern when he pushes the limits. Grade: 7

Size and durability: Olson is every bit of 6-foot-5 and his build is solid as a rock. His frame isn't lanky in the least. He looks like he could add another 20-30 pounds over the next few years. Grade: 10

Athleticism/mobility/savvy: Olson is not exactly Steve Young. But the left-hander has skills that are eerily reminiscent of Young's. His footwork is advanced. His three- and five-step drops are nearly picture-perfect. He gets the right amount of depth within the right amount of time. He moves within the pocket well and seems to sense the pass rush, although he's still learning that phase of the game. He has the mobility to make the first defender miss. Football savvy still needs some work, but he's still learning. There's no question that he has the tools to become a special player. Grade: 8

Is Ben Olson the No. 1 quarterback in the country? Yes.

No one else has Olson's combination of arm strength, size, mobility and footwork in the country. He still has some learning to do, but what high school quarterback doesn't? Olson is a great athlete no matter which way you slice it. He can be a pocket passer, he can be a roll out guy, he can be whatever a coach wants him to be.

Rivals100 is convinced that if he weren't such a hot commodity as a quarterback he would make it as a tight end or wide receiver in college.

Total Score: 43 out of 50




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