Thursday, November 16, 2006


#28 - JOHNNY OLSZEWSKI - BACK (1950-1952)
Johnny O was part of one of the more unusual stories in Cal recruiting history. His entire backfield from Long Beach St. Anthony's HS matriculated to Cal in 1949, though Johnny was the star of the bunch. He exploded onto the scene in 1950 with 1,008 yards rushing as a sophomore, only the second time in school history that a back had exceeded 1,000 yards. Olszewski topped the 100 yard mark in five games that year, including 144 yards in a 35-0 rout of UCLA.

Slowed by injuries in his junior year, Olszewski slipped to 651 yards rushing, though he averaged 7.3 yards per carry. Before the injury, he had hit for his biggest game, a 269-yard effort in a 42-35 shootout victory over Washington State in Pullman. He came back to earn first-team All-American honors as a senior, rushing for 845 yards and 7 touchdowns. Over his Cal career, Olszewski's teams went 24-6-1 and appeared in one Rose Bowl (1951 against Michigan)

Johnny O was drafted in the 1st round of the 1953 draft by the Chicago Cardinals, and appeared in two Pro Bowls over a ten-year career with the Cardinals, Redskins and Lions. He is also linked by family to the Tuiasosopo football clan: Johnny's younger sister Tina married UCLA great Manu Tuiasosopo, making Johnny the uncle of current Raider QB Marques Tuiasosopo.