Merlin Jay Olsen was an American football player, announcer, and actor. He was selected to the Pro Bowl a record 14 straight times, missing selection only in the last year of his career. He played his entire 15-year professional football career in National Football League as a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 as the top college football player in the U.S.
About Merlin Olsen in brief
Merlin Jay Olsen was an American football player, announcer, and actor. He was selected to the Pro Bowl a record 14 straight times, missing selection only in the last year of his career. As an actor, he portrayed farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. After leaving that series, he starred in his own NBC drama, Father Murphy. He played his entire 15-year professional football career in National Football League as a defensive tackle with the Los Angeles Rams. Olsen is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall Of Fame. He is a inductee of the Utah State University Sports Hall of Famer. In 2000, he was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 50 Athletes of the Century. In 2008, Olsen was named to the 75th anniversary of the Sun Bowl. In 2009, he won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman in college football. He also played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1961 and in 2003 was voted to the Hall of game game. He has been named one of Utah’s top 50 athletes of the 20th century by the University of Utah Sports Illustrated and the Sports Illustrated Top 50 of the 50th Century by the American Football Coaches Association. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 as the top college football player in the U.S. and was a consensus All-American selection as a senior in 1960 and 1961. His brothers Phil and Orrin also played football.
His father was a professor at the university while his mother had graduated in elementary education. Merlin pursued athletics in high school but was cut from the basketball team while in grade 9, told by the coach that athletics wasn’t for him and that he should take up the arts. Later, Olsen turned down a football scholarship to Stanford University to play for USU. He graduated from the College of Business and Social Sciences at USU with a bachelor’s degree in Finance in 1962 and a master’sdegree in Economics in 1971. He later received an honorary doctorate degree in business from the Huntsman School. Olsen was also named All- American by the Football Writers Association of America and Newspaper Enterprise Association. His 1961 Aggie defense gave up an average of 7. 8 points a game, which is second in team history behind Olsen’s 1960 team, which allowed 6. 5 points per game. The Aggies, not known as a national power football program, finished 10th in both the AP and UPI post-season polls, the only time that has occurred in school history. In 2003, Olsen played in the Hula Bowl after his senior season and was MVP, and was voted the All-Academic All-America All-Century Team by the NewspaperEnterprise Association. In 2006, he was named the 75-th Anniversary All-Time Utah State Football Team by The Utah State News.