All-state Napavine High School lineman Keith Olson has never looked at himself as the exemplary small-school football outlier.
And neither did USC.
“They don’t care what classification you are from,” Olson said. “If you are good, you play.”
The three-star offensive tackle from the tiny Class 2B program in Lewis County announced Tuesday that he’s given a verbal commitment to the Trojans – nearly two weeks after taking one long trip to three different Pacific-12 Conference campuses.
“I thought he’d go somewhere … but is USC is a big-time school,” Napavine football coach Josh Fay said. “Certainly on the West Coast, that is the place to be. They really liked him.”
Last November, Olson first saw USC while at a football camp with Ford Sports Performance’s “Trench Squad.” It was then the Trojans first expressed interest in him.
But it wasn’t until late May – right after Olson finished up his junior basketball season with the Tigers – that USC offensive line coach Clay McGuire (former WSU assistant under Mike Leach) offered the teenager a scholasrship.
That is when a family member mentioned to Olson (6-6, 285) a little bit about the USC sports history.
“My uncle told me there were a couple of Olympics there,” Olson said.
Two weeks ago, Olson set out on three official visits – first to Utah, then to USC and finally finishing up at Oregon State.
A few days before the Fourth of July, Olson was at a basketball camp – and had made up his mind. He was all-in on USC, and called McGuire to tell him.
“It was pretty sweet,” Olson said. “I wasn’t really sure how much I’d like California. Once I got down there and saw the campus, it was its own little world.”