The Express Movie Has Utah State Ties
Oct. 8, 2008
LOGAN, Utah - The upcoming movie "The Express: The Ernie Davis Story," which opens in theaters Friday, has ties to Utah State in that Aggie legend Merlin Olsen finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1961.
Based on the incredible true story, "The Express" follows the inspirational life of Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis earned 824 points while Merlin Olsen collected 93 points, as the highest finishing defensive player.
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.