Utah State's Merlin Olsen Named To 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team
July 3, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State football legend Merlin Olsen has been named to the 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team to commemorate the Sun Bowl Association's Diamond Anniversary. The team was announced Thursday by association president Joe E. Valenzuela.
Olsen is one of 75 players honored by the Sun Bowl Association. Olsen and Utah State were in the 1960 Sun Bowl, losing to New Mexico State, 20-13. Led by Olsen, the navy-clad Aggie defense held their counterpart Aggies to just 44 rushing yards on 32 carries.
A native of Logan, Utah, Olsen was a two-time All-American (1960-61) as a defensive lineman at Utah State and won the 1961 Outland Trophy as the nation's outstanding interior lineman. Olsen was also a three-time Academic All-American (1959-61) and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Kappa Phi in 1962 with a degree in finance. Olsen was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1988.
As the second player selected in the 1962 National Football League Draft, Olsen became a charter member of the Los Angeles Rams and the famed "Fearsome Foursome". In 15 pro seasons, he was named to an NFL record 14 Pro Bowls. Olsen was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1962 and was the league's Most Valuable Lineman in 1973. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and earned a spot on Sports Illustrated's all-time NFL team.
Olsen retired from professional football in 1976 to pursue a career as an actor and broadcaster with NBC as he covered five Super Bowls.
"The Sun Bowl Association has a long history of providing a quality postseason bowl game experience for players, coaches, administrators and fans," said Valenzuela. "These 75 players reflect that experience and those memories. This is a way for the Sun Bowl to honor those who have left those lasting memories for El Pasoans, as well as fans everywhere."
The Brut Sun Bowl, the nation's second oldest bowl game, has had 75 different programs compete in the game, which is more than any other bowl in the nation.
"Over the years, the Sun Bowl has seen so many great individual achievements on the football field, we felt it was only right to honor those that gave it their all," said Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl Association. "Our panel, which included members of the media and Sun Bowl officials, worked diligently to honor those who excelled in the Sun Bowl. But as always you cannot honor everyone and there were some great players that were not on the list. I am really excited how this project turned out. If nothing more, this makes for a great conversation piece for fans of college football."