But Olsen -- a redshirt freshman who was suspended three times while with the Hurricanes -- understands that third and fourth chances are unlikely.
“There’s no room for error,” Olsen said in a telephone interview Friday morning. “Even if a coach said, ‘You can do whatever you want,' that’s still not the right thing for me to do right now. I really have no more room for anything else – for my family’s sake, for my sake, and obviously for Towson’s sake. I have no room for error.”
That attitude has been shaped by a tumultuous past 18 months for Olsen, the younger brother of former Hurricanes and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
In May 2013, he was charged in his hometown of Wayne, N.J., with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, and careless driving.
After his third suspension at Miami -- related to a Sept. 15 incident that led to him being charged with driving under the influence and possessing a fake driver's license -- the university announced that he was no longer enrolled at the school.
“I made some mistakes,” Olsen said. “I don’t regret my time at Miami. Coach [Al] Golden and all the guys that recruited me, I still hold them close to me, and they’re great people. I just made a couple mistakes that I have learned from. I’m super happy that Towson wanted to give me a new home and a second chance.”
Towson coach Rob Ambrose declined to comment, citing NCAA rules prohibiting coaches talking about a player until he officially joins the program.
Because Towson is not a Football Bowl Subdivision program, Olsen does not need to sit out a year after transferring, and he would be eligible to play in 2015.
Olsen, a four-star recruit who was ranked among the Class of 2013's top 10 by several national recruiting outlets, also considered transferring to Eastern Illinois. He said he chose the Tigers because of the presence of two Wayne Hills High School teammates -- senior wide receiver Brian Dowling and junior offensive tackle Jake Schunke -- and his rapport with the coaching staff.
“I’ve always thought it was just a great program,” said Olsen, who met Ambrose and offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose when they visited Wayne Hills to recruit Dowling and Schunke. “The coaches are great, and I wanted to be a part of a big thing, and I really think that Towson is on the up-and-up.”
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Olsen – whose transfer to Towson was first reported by ESPN.com – will join a Tigers team that followed a run to the Football Championship Subdivision national championship game in 2013 with a 4-8 mark this season. The offense ranked 108th out of 121 FCS programs in scoring (16.1 points per game), 104th in total yards (295.2) and 116th in passing yards (131.8).
Olsen will likely compete with junior quarterback Connor Frazier for the starting role. Frazier completed 57.3 percent (168-of-293) of his passes and scored 11 total touchdowns (nine passing, two rushing) this season. He also tossed eight interceptions and ranked in the bottom half of Colonial Athletic Association quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and passing efficiency.
Although he has yet to play on the collegiate level, Olsen dismissed any notion that he may be rusty.
“I played in all spring [practices], and I was the starter in the spring at Miami, and I was getting all of the [first-team] reps,” he said. “I think I’m going to compete – or I’d like to think so. I’m going to compete and show everybody what I can do.”