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Former SUU and BYU QB Ammon Olsen, an NFL hopeful, recalls working with NFL MVP Kurt Warner


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PROVO — Like thousands of football players around the country, former Southern Utah quarterback Ammon Olsen is working tirelessly right now, trying to impress an NFL team enough to take a chance on him.

Unlike so many others, though, Olsen has had the opportunity to pick apart the mind of a former NFL MVP in his pre-draft process. Through Quarterback Elite, a quarterback and wide receiver development program founded in 2009 by first-year BYU offensive coordinator Ty Detmer and Dustin Smith, Olsen has worked with Kurt Warner, the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFL MVP whose 12-year NFL career ended in 2009.

"Kurt actually had us over to his house. He has a field in his backyard," Olsen said. "I got a good workout with him. Man, he's a genius. He told me so much that I couldn't handle it all, but little by little he really did help me with where my weight was on my back foot and on my drops.

"Just learning from him and hearing him talk changes how you think about the quarterback position. … He really helped me out on the chalkboard and on the field with certain things I can get better at. It was a great experience."

Olsen participated in BYU's Pro Day on Friday, throwing to former Cougar wide receivers Mitch Mathews, Terenn Houk and Devon Blackmon, among others, while also running the 40-yard dash and three-cone drill.

"I ran good times, had good results on my testing," Olsen said of his performance at BYU's Indoor Practice Facility. "Throwing was good. The timing routes were a little weird because they're not my receivers, so the chemistry was a little bit off. But other than that, I think it went good. I spun it pretty well today."

Olsen, who also played at BYU and prepped at Alta High, will take part in SUU's Pro Day next Wednesday as well. The NFL draft, set for April 28-30 in Chicago, is quickly approaching.

Warner's story serves as an inspiration for players like Olsen. Warner wasn't drafted into the NFL, but turned in a career that included winning a championship in a 23-16 win over Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV, when Warner was named the Super Bowl MVP. Olsen is projected to be a rookie free-agent signee; CBS Sports currently has him as the 35th-best quarterback prospect in this year's draft class.

"They want to see that I can be consistent," Olsen said when asked what feedback he's received in the draft process. "The NFLPA (Collegiate Bowl) game was really good for me. I did really well there and heard really good feedback from that game. They said we want to see you keep doing that and getting better and working on under-center footwork, which I have. Hopefully that paid off today."

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