Anonymity was not what David Olson had in mind when he signed, as a three-star high school quarterback, with Stanford prior to the 2010 college football season.
Olson wasn’t looking for immediate playing time behind future NFL star Andrew Luck, but a failure to get on the field wasn’t a scenario he envisioned, either.
Four seasons later – one spent as a redshirt – Olson hadn’t thrown a pass for the Cardinal. He transferred to Clemson, in his home state of South Carolina, and briefly entered three games as a senior.
Olson, now the quarterback for the Force, finished his college career with one completion for minus-one yard. His stint in Wichita has been more fruitful, as he has helped the Force to Monday’s Champions Indoor Football championship game against Amarillo at Intrust Bank Arena.
“Along the way, when things don’t go exactly how you planned, you reach points where you have to find new motivations, new ways of looking at things, looking at yourself,” Olson said. “Saying, ‘What do I need to do to get where I need to go?’ regardless of the situation you find yourself in.”
When the Force added Olson after seven games this season, they were as desperate as he was. Stephen Panasuk left the team to join the Arena Football League and the Force, for the second straight season, was left scrambling for a quarterback in the middle of the year.
Olson’s presence ensured the situation never became as dire as in 2015, when the Force used eight quarterbacks. He has gone 6-0, including last week’s semifinal victory over Bloomington, and the Force has scored at least 52 points in three straight weeks.
Olson joined a roster ready-made for the postseason, and while he has adjusted to playing for the first time in six years, other aspects of the Force have thrived.
“When you come in and you have great guys around you, it makes it easier for me to incorporate or for any new guy to incorporate,” Olson said. “That’s definitely a benefit that I’ve had coming here.
“I’m really happy with the success that we’ve had, and a lot of that comes from the coaches and my teammates around me. It’s gone about as smooth as I could have hoped for.”
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Olson played one game of indoor football before joining the Force. He hasn’t appeared rusty with Wichita, with 28 total touchdowns in seven games and a continuing chemistry with receivers Clarence Anderson, Ronald Davis and Brett Soft.
Last year’s quarterback issues derailed the Force’s season, as Wichita lost in the first round of the playoffs. This year, the absence of the Game 1 starter has led to little drop-off, even from a player without much recent game experience.
“The biggest adjustment is going live in a game scenario,” Olson said. “It’s a new experience, but in practice you can sort of imagine yourself into certain reps and take mental reps. Then you learn by watching the film and things like that.
“I felt like I was keeping my competitive edge up to par throughout the years and felt like I would be ready to learn from the experiences of playing in a game at an appropriate pace. The game slowed down, it doesn’t feel new anymore, and I feel like that preparation ahead of time really helped.”
Amarillo at Force
- When: 7 p.m. Monday
- Where: Intrust Bank Arena
- What: CIF championship
- Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM