Growing up, Sebastian Olver became quite good at the Australian version of football.
Two years ago, he was introduced to the American version.
“I fell in love with it,” he said.
Last year, Olver moved from Brisbane, Australia, to attend Marin Catholic (Calif.) High School and play American football. Already, he is getting plenty of attention from college recruiters, including at Colorado.
On June 11, Olver and good friend Chantz Russell were both in Boulder to take part in a skills camp. The high school teammates both love the idea of joining the Buffaloes for the fall of 2017.
“I thought this coaching staff was all great, the campus is beautiful,” said Olver, whose family still lives in Brisbane. “The weather is great. It’s a good package. It’s a great college town.”
“I don’t really find anything wrong with this school,” Russell said.
To this point, CU is one of 10 schools to offer a scholarship to Olver, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound athlete who hopes to play tight end in college.
“They offered me as an athlete,” Olver said of the Buffs. “I think they want to see how I develop as a player.”
As a tight end, Olver would get to combine two aspects of the game he loves – catching the ball and hitting people. And, he sees similarities in that to the Australian game.
“It seems to go pretty parallel with AFL – catching and contact,” he said. “Trying to find space when you catch it and try to knock someone over.”
Fresno State and Iowa State are among the other teams to offer Olver, and he impressed Arizona scouts for his ability to punt – a skill that is a basic part of Australian rules football.
“I’d like to be on the field and try to hit people and I’ll go and punt if they need me,” he said.
Russell does not have a CU offer at this point, but does have offers from Idaho, Montana State, Sacramento State and Wyoming. A 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle, he’s hoping to impress the CU coaches enough to get an offer soon.
“I like everything about (CU),” he said. “I really like this area. It’s a great town, really good college feel. I really like (offensive line coach Klayton) Adams, and the facilities are better than most I’ve seen so far. I don’t really find anything wrong with this school.”
Russell injured his right shoulder while going against Olver in a pre-game drill last fall, played through it and had offseason surgery. While he’s been cleared for contact, he said he doesn’t want to risk it during the summer, and will wait until fall to start hitting again. That’s when he hopes CU and other schools really start to take notice.
“I think schools want to wait until I can have contact again, just to see how I am in pads again and to make sure the shoulder holds up,” he said.
Until then, Olver and Russell will visit other schools. They visited Oregon this week and plan to visit Purdue, Indiana and Washington State.
It’s quite possible, however, that at least one, if not both, wind up in Boulder.
“(CU) is definitely a top choice,” Olver said. “I’m going to make a choice probably at the end of the summer, before my season.”
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.
Below, check out highlights for Olver and Russell: