Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Uso Olive Rise Of a Champion
by Dirk Knudsen
Posted on: Prep Football News
To be successful on the football field teams have to be able to stop the running game. To do that you have to win the war in the trenches. Uso Olive is one guy that you want to tap for that job. But there is strength here beyond measure beyond football and his story is a compelling one.
The powerhouse linemen from Federal Way High School is a terrific High School linemen and last year started both ways. He was a convincing opponent for opposing linemen no matter which side of the ball he was on.
But is on defense where this mauler thrives. At 6'1" and now 293 he is back where he wants to be.
"My Sophomore year I really broke onto the scene. I recorded 17 sacks in just 5 games I started in. Right away I was on top and gained a lot of interest," said a poetically thoughtful Uso.
Then in his Junior year Uso was tapped to aid his team as a 2 way grinder. He did what was required but like most powerhouse linemen he felt the effects.
"I prided myself on winning every battle. Having said that I was not as fresh and did not have as much success at D'tackle. My Sack count was only 5 last year and I dropped down to 260. That extra 30 pounds I missed inside on defense," he added.
That is the battle he has been waging on the field. Off the field he has been faced with adversity that would make most people fall. But Uso has not fallen; only risen.
"This February on the 2nd I lost my Mom. She was my biggest fan and my biggest supporter. She was the only reason I stayed in school and pursued this football dream," said Uso who never mentioned any of this until we saw this picture on his Facebook page and asked him. "She never missed a game and wore my jersey to every one."
Olive (said O-Lee-VA) lost his beloved mother Anna Maria to a heart disease that caused her heart and organs to grow too big for her body. She could not be saved.
"She was only 47...her birthday would have been 4 days after she passed. She would be 48. I miss her so much."
That is part of the story. But his Samoan mother was his only parent because Uso has no father and has no idea of who he is or where he is.
"That was never really spoken of. I guess somebody knows but I don't. There is no record of him. Not even on my birth certificate. She left Samoa and I was born here. All I am trying to accomplish now is for her or course. To live the life she envisioned for me," he said with conviction.
He has purpose in his life. His brother Alex is his guardian and provides for him. Alex is off in Alaska hundreds of miles from land and thousands of miles from Alex and his family.
Uso is here in Seattle and lives with his brothers wife April and his baby niece Alondra.
"She is my light. My heart is hers. So we have made a family together. And my life is on track living as I was asked to."
Most people, let alone kids, who lose both parents at a young age shrink and disappear. But Uso is rising and every down on the field will be played with dedication and purpose.
Back on the field if things go as planned Olive will play primarily as a Defensive Tackle once again this year. Either that or Coach is expecting a lot of "3 and Out" series.
"There is no doubt I will have to step up and play both ways much of the time. Having said that I want to focus on the defensive side of the ball."
Less plays equals a more effective Uso. He is at 292 pounds today and hopes to play right at 293 this year.
"That is my lucky weight! Once back there I am going to hunt down some QB's."
Schools know who he is despite the drop off in his production last year. He is being tracked and for good reason.
Eastern Washington, Portland State, OSU, Missouri, WSU, and the U of W are all in touch with him. They will have plenty of chances to monitor his activity too.
Uso went over his Spring plans. "I will hit the Nike Camp, the Gesser camp, an All Star Linemens Camp, and quite a few other events and Summer Camps."
He is very close to Future Washington Husky and 5 Time NIke MVP Taniela Tupou from Arch Bishop Murphy.
"We are very close and grew up in sports together. I respect him and feel he is one of the best ever. I want to have that same level of success and feel that I can."
No doubt that Olive is the strongest athlete we have spoken to this year. He is currently bench pressing 405 pounds and squatting 565 pounds. These numbers are a great indicator of why he is so effective inside the trenches where the battles are one and lost on leverage and inches of grass.
That on field strength is also a direct reflection of his personal strength earned by life's cruel lessons.
Uso Olive is the strongest person we have come across this year so far; and it is hard to imagine someone who will eclipse him.
In a game Uso Olive is one guy who is better to watch then tangle with. For those having to do the later we wish you all the best!
We salute the Olive family and all they are doing to make the best of a tragic situation.