LOGAN – Logan High will join an exclusive club Monday when the school is recognized as an “Official High School of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” It is part of a program called Hometown Hall of Famer, which honors the roots of pro football legends. In this case, it will be the late Merlin Olsen who is recognized.
The event, which is open to the public, will start at 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Logan High’s main gymnasium. Merlin Olsen’s brother, Phil Olsen, said a plaque and a 40-pound brass bust of Merlin Olsen will be presented to the school. Phil Olsen said he expects about 2,000 people to be present for it.
“Merlin would be very embarrassed if he knew that there were this many people getting together to talk about him,” he said. “I’m not sure if he would like that at all. I think that is what happens for somebody who reaches the level or pinnacle of success like he did, and gets so many honors and rewards.”
Even though Phil Olsen thinks his older brother would be embarrassed, he said it would mean a lot to him.
“I think he would say this is something truly special,” Phil Olsen said, “honoring the Olsen family and honoring the high school.”
Merlin Olsen played for Logan High in the late 50s before joining the Utah State football team. After a successful Aggie career – which included being named an All-American in 1961 and 1962 – Merlin Olsen was drafted third overall in the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. His 15-year career in Los Angeles included 14 Pro Bowl selections and the NFL Rookie of the Year award.
Like his older brother, Phil Olsen also played for Logan High, for Utah State and in the NFL.
“I was there for nine years,” Phil Olsen said. “Merlin played for 15. I had a chance to play with him for four years when I was with the Los Angeles Rams, and that is still the only time in NFL history when brothers played side by side. That was a very special time for us.”
Another Olsen brother, Orrin Olsen, also made it to the NFL. Phil Olsen said because of their size, football was a natural choice for the brothers.
“When you are as big as we were, football chose us,” he said. “I don’t think we necessarily chose football. We played all sports from the time we were little. There were four boys in the Olsen family and five girls, there were nine of us. Three of us played college football and played in the National Football League. Our fourth brother Clark was a tremendous athlete, but he lost one of his eyes when he was 11 and they would not let him play sports.”
Logan High will be the 112th high school recognized by the Hometown Hall of Famer program.