If guys like Brian Cushing qualify as "eighth-year seniors," can't we come up with an even longer term for someone like UCLA QB Ben Olson, who attended multiple schools, went on a two-year mission, redshirted, got married and suffered multiple injuries? How long has it been since this guy was the best high school QB in the nation?
-- Chris Ochoa, El Macero, Calif.
Good point. Olson, while technically a fifth-year senior, was the top-rated quarterback (by some) in the high school class of 2002. How long ago was that? Well for one, some of the other top-rated QBs in his class included Vince Young, Troy Smith and Marcus Vick. It would be another year before Chris Leak signed with Florida. And Chad Henne and Brian Brohm had just completed their sophomore years of high school.
So yes, unquestionably, Olson should be added to the list. But in reading some of my e-mails, it seems some of you took this exercise a bit too literally. Just because a guy is only a fourth-year senior on paper does not disqualify him if, as in the case of Penn State's Derrick Williams; it still seems like he's been in college since 2001. And while several Ohio State fans nominated Todd Boeckman -- who, because he delayed his initial enrollment, will be 24 this fall -- the fact is no one outside of Columbus had heard of him prior to last season and therefore he does not count.