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Friday, April 26, 2013
Big Ten endearing itself to RB Ollison

By Jared Shanker

One of the fastest-rising prospects in the East is Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius running back Qadree Ollison, who has seen several Big Ten teams come for him the last few weeks.

The latest is Penn State, and while the Nittany Lions have not offered, Ollison says the PSU coaching staff is very interested following a visit for the spring game.

“Their facilities are excellent ... and I got to go to the weight room and go on the field, talk to the coaches,” Ollison said. “It was a great visit.”

Spring game star Akeel Lynch is from Ollison’s area and the two played against each other in high school. Penn State guard John Urschel is a Canisius graduate.

“He speaks highly of Penn State,” Ollison said of Urschel. “He told me to keep working and don’t worry about not getting an offer and I’ll get one eventually.”

The Nittany Lions run a pro-style offense under Bill O’Brien, which is something the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Ollison is looking for in a program. Most of the 11 teams to offer him run a pro-style offense, including Iowa and Wisconsin, two traditional ground-and-pound Big Ten teams.

The Badgers are one of the latest to offer Ollison, who is high on the Badgers already. He isn’t ready to name any top schools, but Wisconsin has caught his interest.

“There is no secret: They’re going to run the ball,” Ollison said. “They’re not going to trick you. They’re going line up and play smash-mouth football.”

For Ollison, he said things really began picking up after Rutgers offered. So, there is a certain loyalty to the Scarlet Knights, who hosted Ollison for a visit. He called it a “great school” and likes that the school is also moving to the Big Ten.

Ollison will visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.

“One thing I found pretty cool is they practice right next to the Steelers, which is really cool,” Ollison said. “I’ll know a little more and like a little more when I get there Saturday.”