COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State wide receiver signee Chris Olave was one of the last additions to Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class, offering his commitment on Jan. 28.
Though he was rated a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2018, the San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills standout has the physical and mental tools to become a star at the next level. To learn what Olave can bring to Ohio State, Land of 10 caught up with Mission Hills coach Chris Hauser.
Q: What traits of Chris Olave’s stand out on the football field?
Hauser: Football coaches are all about competition, but the other component of that is whether kids love to compete. And Chris loves to compete at everything. That to me has him primed for what he’s walking into at Ohio State, because he’s built that way.
Q: How would you describe his style of play?
Hauser: He doesn’t fit that standardized receiver personality or persona, where they’re running routes and want the ball. He does the dirty work, too. And what I mean by that is he did a great job blocking for us. He took pride in getting better at that. When the ball wasn’t coming his way, he worked his butt off and took pride in watching his blocking on tape. He was a great example for our younger receivers in his work ethic at practice. He doesn’t take plays off, he goes all the time.
Q: Was it evident early on in his high school career that he could potentially develop into this type of prospect?
Hauser: No doubt, no doubt. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I saw this in him right from the get-go, that he’d be special. He’s a 6-foot-1 kid with long arms, so he’s got length. He’s got an amazing vertical. Dunking comes easy for him. He has that top-end speed, so he runs well. You could see the potential in him and realize he was a top-flight kid. He deserved an opportunity to play in the Big 12 or Pac 12, SEC, Big Ten, whatever it might be.
Q: Is there a play or performance of his that stands out and shows what type of player he is?
Hauser: Just in our scrimmage at the start of the year, we were up at Ramona High School. We were in a third-down situation about 16 or 17 yards out, so we were in the red zone. We ran a concept where he had a choice, and they were bringing full pressure and playing man. There was no safety over the top, and our quarterback recognized it and Chris recognized it. Our quarterback Jack Tuttle, who’s now at Utah [as an early enrollee], throws a ball that’s a little bit far and up in the air. Chris just accelerates, stretches with one hand and then sticks it for a touchdown. Most high school kids aren’t making that play. It was fantastic.
Q: During the recruiting process, was he always open to going far from home?
Hauser: He told me he wanted to play where the competition was the best. His first offer was Hawaii, so that was the best competition at the time. Then he got one from San Diego State, and that was the best. So when Ohio State came, you think he didn’t think that was the best competition? Regardless of where it was in the country, he wanted to go up against the best.
Q: How would you describe his personality?
Hauser: He’s quiet, not a loud guy, but he’s fun to be around. He can take a joke or give a joke and doesn’t get hurt feelings. He’s just a well-brought up young man. I think those that meet him at Ohio State will find that about him. He’s got his head on straight. I told Ohio State he’s smart enough to handle the volume of the playbook. He takes school seriously. That part is very important in his family, the education piece.