Written by Ryan Wright
Working over Pennsylvania defenses at a prolific rate of 254.4 yards per game will get one on the fast track to All-State honors. Throughout Cadin Olsen’s sophomore season, he was pushing defenses around with his arm covering 2,0235 yards with 23 touchdowns and showed off the dual-threat abilities covering 167 yards on 25 totes. At the end of Armstrong High School’s 2020 season, college coaches starting lighting up Olsen’s (6-4, 205) inbox with his name sliding up to the top of boards.
After finishing second overall in the state of Pennsylvania while leading the WPIAL in passing yards, Olsen stopped by the RNG Lab for a one-on-one interview partnered with QB Hit List.
Cadin, it is a lot of fun watching you work the pigskin around the yard. Watching game reel on you, it looks like you are comfortable and in control of the offense. Is that a fair assessment?
Yeah, I’d say that. This year we changed our offense a little bit. We did a lot with the changes, and adapting to new things. My coach gave me a lot of confidence. He told me he was revolving the offense around me. That gave me confidence knowing he had faith in me. We spent a lot of time in the offseason working together, the receiver, linemen, and coaches. We all worked together, trusted each other, and that helped this season. Trust was the main thing and them having faith in me.
Running the Spread, you were going through your progressions and hanging in the pocket to deliver the ball downfield. What do you feel are some of the other strengths to your game that helped you lead the WPIAL in passing?
A big strength is my field vision. We had some plays that were tough to read, but I made sure to get the ball where I could. I had a great group of receivers that I could rely on. They did what they could to help me out. I play 7v7, that played a major part getting used to different coverages. One of my main strengths is my vision.
Was there one or more pieces to your skillset that maybe went from a weakness or not as strong aspect to an integral part of your repertoire in 2020?
A big one is my arm strength and the ability to read defenses. My head coach is great. He is teaching me how to read defenses and how to identify them. Him and some other coaches have helped me a lot to make quicker reads. My arm strength, I worked a ton on that. I was lifting and working out a lot. Over the offseason, I went from 175 to 200 pounds. Me putting on that weight helped me play at a higher level.
Getting all the opportunities that you did to throw the ball, how did your understanding of the offense and of defenses grow during the 2020 run?
I feel like one of the big things preparing is watching film. I watched a ton of film. The more you watch, the more you pick up on the little things and how they play. Then you can make better decisions. My receivers helped me out a lot. They were able to get open and were running great routes. My offensive line, if they had not done what they did I would not have had the season I had.
Which areas of your game have you been working on this winter?
I am still lifting. We lift four days a week. I am trying to get stronger and I am working on my speed and footwork. This offseason I am looking to get better on my feet, get quicker, better at escaping the pocket, and doing more RPOs (run-pass option). That would give us an advantage on offense; they can’t just drop back in coverage. Me being a threat to run, they have to respect that.
Have you been to any camps already this offseason or do you have any you may attend coming up?
I have been to a couple. I went to the NCECE, the Sound Mind and Body Camp in Michigan. It was a great experience. One of the guys who works with me in the offseason, he works with QB University. He asked me to go up there. I also play basketball, so that is the only camp I have been able to attend so far. Coming up, I want to attend some local college camps like Pitt, Penn State, UPenn, West Virginia and some colleges around us. I was invited to the Elite 11 regional in April in Philly.
Let’s keep with the college threat. Which programs are showing interest?
There are a couple of coaches messaging me on Twitter. I have a bunch of follows from teams like Penn State, Marshall, Akron, Rutgers, Old Dominion, UPenn, and Lafayette. They have not been able to talk to me per NCAA rules. Penn State has invited me to their camp this year. UPenn reached out wanting info, and Rutgers reached out for info too.
This summer, when visits are allowed again, might you go check out a few?
My uncle was an alumni director for Oregon. I have all kinds of Oregon and Marcus Mariota gear. My dad played football at Pitt when Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Morehead was there; I’d like to attend their camp and visit Oregon. There are a couple of kids from local high schools that went to Pitt and Penn State; I want to visit those schools. I hear the coaches are great at Penn State.
Cadin, it was great catching up with you ahead of so much coming up. Keep up the hard work and good luck at all these camps this offseason.
Thank you, sir.
Photo credit: Olsen family; Cadin Olsen