Aug. 13, 2003

by Chris Masters

History is filled with great combinations, from Laurel and Hardy to Martin and Lewis. The same holds true in football, where tandems such as Montana to Rice and Bradshaw to Swann have captured fans’ attention for years.

Notre Dame will try to seize this same dual magic on the gridiron with not one, but two young quarterback-receiver combinations. The brother team of sophomore QB Chris Olsen and freshman TE Greg Olsen has been playing side-by-side ever since their childhood days back in New Jersey. The siblings also were teammates for three seasons at Wayne Hills High School, posting a combined 31-4 record from 1999-2001 with three state championship game appearances while playing for their father, Chris, Sr.

“Chris and Greg know each other and their chemistry on the field might show itself a little more readily than if they had not been teammates,” Notre Dame offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick said.

“That will wind up being an important asset in our offense in the years to come.”

Although not related like the Olsens, freshman QB Brady Quinn and freshman WR Chinedum Ndukwe certainly have had a close connection as teammates at Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio. The duo combined for a 17-7 record the last two seasons, hooking up 107 times for 1,590 yards and 23 touchdowns over that span.

“Because Brady and Chin are in the same class, they might end up coming in and have a little more of an immediate impact than Chris and Greg,” Diedrick said.

“What you’re going to get out of both pairs of guys is an ability to make plays and help our team in a numbers of different areas.”