A Nebraska baseball camp two years ago showed Chase Olson how far he had to go as a pitcher. Now he’s officially a future Husker.
The left-hander out of Raymore-Peculiar in Missouri this week became the third member of NU’s 2024 class. Considered the No. 201 lefty in his class nationally, Olson also held offers from Kansas State, Xavier and Kent State along with interest from Missouri and others.
“It just feels different with Nebraska,” Olson said. “It was all there. I love the coaching staff. And the fans are different there — they come out and support no matter what. You can wear a Nebraska shirt down here and have people say, ‘Go Huskers.’”
His time in Lincoln as a prep freshman revealed much for him to improve upon. Competitiveness, for one thing — he saw other pitchers with less ability than him to impose their will on the mound. Size and strength too.
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That second piece is tangibly coming together for Olson, now 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds. His velocity has risen by 8 mph in the last year, with his fastball topping out around 90 mph now. He also throws a changeup, slider and cutter.
“Eating and in the weight room,” Olson said of his approach. “Just worked as hard as I could every day.”
Olson showed his gains at an NU camp last month and received an offer a couple of weeks ago. Both a power hurler and one who can pitch to contact, he said he’s fine with whatever role — from weekend starter to middle reliever — he eventually earns at Nebraska. That approach has worked well for him so far.
Olson is from a baseball family. His father, Nate Olson, was a middle infielder at Arkansas State in the early 2000s after he spent the 1999 season at Maple Woods (Mo.) Community College and was roommates on the road with future major-league Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols . The younger Olson met the MLB superstar a few times in the early 2010s.
“I didn’t think much of it then like I do now,” Olson said. “Just being able to learn from a legend like that was crazy.”