The greatest athlete in the history of Utah State made the Football Writers Association of America’s 75th Anniversary All-America Team, which was announced Thursday by the organization.

Merlin Olsen, a two-time All-American for the Aggies, was a second-team selection by the FWAA. Olsen is one of just two players from the Beehive State to make the Anniversary All-America Team, joining Gordon Hudson, who played tight end at BYU.

Olsen was a three-year letterman on the offensive and defensive lines for Utah State from 1959-61, earning All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons. As a senior in 1961, the native of Logan won the Outland Trophy as the nation's outstanding interior defensive lineman.

Olsen also was a three-time academic All-American at Utah State and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Kappa Phi in 1962 with a degree in finance.

During his senior season, Olsen anchored an Aggie defense that yielded an average of 50.8 rushing yards per game, which led the nation. USU also allowed 88.6 passing yards and 139.4 total yards per game in 1961.

The 1961 Aggie defense gave up an average 7.8 points a game, which is second in school history behind Olsen’s 1960 team, which allowed 6.5 points per game. Additionally, the Aggie defense held four opponents to less than 100 total yards that season, including Idaho, which was held to a school record negative 23 total yards in the Aggies’ 69-0 win on Oct. 28.

During Olsen’s junior and senior seasons, Utah State had a combined 18-3-1 record under head coach John Ralston and was Skyline Conference co-champions each year as the Aggies played in back-to-back bowl games against New Mexico State (Sun Bowl, 1960) and Baylor (Gotham Bowl, 1961). Utah State finished the 1961 season ranked 10th in the Associated Press and United Press International polls, the highest final ranking for a USU team.

Olsen is a member of the State of Utah’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Utah State University Sports Hall of Fame and USU’s All-Century Football Team. In 2000, he was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of Utah’s Top 50 Athletes of the Century.

Following his senior season with the Aggies, the Los Angeles Rams selected Olsen with the third overall pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, and he became a charter member of the Los Angeles Rams and the famed “Fearsome Foursome.”

In 15 professional seasons, he was named to 14 consecutive Pro Bowls and missed a total of two games during his career. Along with earning All-Pro honors nine times during his career, Olsen was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1962 and the NFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1973.

Olsen was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and in 1999, he was ranked No. 25 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He was voted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and to the All-Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2008, Olsen was named to the 75th Anniversary All-Sun Bowl Team to commemorate the Sun Bowl Association's Diamond Anniversary.

After retiring from football, Olsen went on to have successful careers as a beloved television actor and as a television sports commentator.

The FWAA, founded in 1941, has picked an annual All-America team since the 1944 season, making it the second-longest continuously selected team in major college football.

A nomination ballot with selected players from all FWAA All-America teams was sent to the entire membership this spring. A Blue Ribbon Committee of FWAA past presidents, current board members and officers then took the popular vote into consideration. That committee put the finishing touches on selecting the 75-man team. In order for a player to be considered for the FWAA's 75th team, he had to be on a previous FWAA All-America team.