Ed Olson wears No. 58 because that was his father's number when he captained the Gophers.
GopherSports: How does it feel to play football at the University of Minnesota?
Ed Olson: It's been a lifelong dream. I've been coming to games ever since I was little. It's an honor and privilege to play here. I love every minute of it.
GS: Coach Kill instituted some new procedures this off-season with the training regimen and instituting some competition into it. How did that bring the team closer together?
EO: The competition was been great for us. We competed every day. That winter off-season helped us immensely. We had competitions every day and ended with a big "Rose Bowl" win from Team Accountability, which was my team. It was just a great time. It helped us compete in the weight room, on the field running, in the classroom, in the locker room, everything. It's still helping us every day.
GS: How much pride do you guys take in that "Rose Bowl" win?
EO: We take a lot of pride. We're still talking about it, Team Accountability. It's a lot of bragging rights for the whole year. It's helping the whole team push each other--that next goal, that next day, next minute, everything. It's helping us a lot.
GS: How nice is it to have your brother Tommy on the team?
EO: It's a dream come true. We've been playing together since we were in middle school, even elementary school, and dreaming about it in the backyard. Now playing here is just a dream come true. We talk about it every day, just live it up like it's our last day. That's what we've been doing, and that's what we hope to do this year.
GS: You're taller than Tommy, but who is stronger between the two of you?
EO: We're on and off. Tom's got me in a couple things, I've got him in a couple things. Like I said, we're always competing. Everyone's always competing in the weight room and on the field for the speed and strength. We'll see.
GS: If you played defense, what position would you play?
EO: I'd have to go with middle linebacker, just because they're the quarterback of the field. I actually played in seventh grade. I always take pride in that. I wish I could, and it would be a tough position. Mike Rallis always talks about it being a tough position, and I have a lot of respect for him playing there.
GS: Why do you wear No. 58?
EO: My dad was 58 when he came here. He was captain in 1982 when they opened the Metrodome, actually, and he had a ton of pictures when we were growing up. All through elementary school, every sport I played--hockey, basketball, baseball--I always tried to be No. 58 just like my dad. I wanted to come here and follow his footsteps, and that's what I'm hoping to do right now.
GS: Does Tommy care that you always have No. 58?
EO: Yeah. I got to high school first, so I had to take No. 58. So when I left his junior year, he took over No. 58 his junior and senior year. So he's saying he wants to take No. 58 when I leave college now.
GS: Your dad comes to a lot of practices. How nice is that?
EO: It's great. It's like pretty much having another coach, another friend on the field. Sometimes he's able to stay the whole practice, so we come off and talk to him. It beats a phone call, beats a text message, and it's just nice seeing your dad after practice to talk to him about practice, his day, just how life's going.
GS: How would you describe Coach Kill?
EO: He's an honest, hard-working guy with an old school mentality. He loves the game of football, loves the players, and I have the utmost respect for him.