The Weber State football team, in search of their first win of the season, will travel to Cedar City this weekend as they take on the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.
The game will be a reunion of sorts for the senior WSU defensive back Tyron Morris-Edwards. Southern Utah quarterback Ammon Olsen was the starting quarterback in 2008 when Morris-Edwards was a wide receiver at Alta High School in Sandy, Utah.
“He’s a good teammate. Ammon is a good dude,” Morris-Edwards said. “He’s a good football player, and we have to give him respect.”
After he completed 193 of 306 passes for 3,209 yards and 36 touchdowns while also rushing for 860 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008, Olsen was named Utah Gatorade Player of the Year.
“Ammon Olsen was my starting quarterback in 2008. He’s just a phenomenal athlete, but even better than that he’s just a great, great kid,” said former Alta High School football coach Les Hamilton. “He’s really having a great time down there. He’s really loving it in Cedar City.”
In 2009 Morris-Edwards stepped up for the Alta Hawks as he put together a huge senior season, making 37 receptions for 913 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“We had a phenomenal receiving corps that year. He was fantastic, just fast and athletic,” Hamilton said. “He was so spectacular in the semifinal game against Bingham that Utah coaches were there watching him at Rice-Eccles (Stadium) and they offered him (a spot on the roster) right there.”
After going to Utah, Morris-Edwards was moved from offense to defense, where he recorded 19 tackles in 22 games with the Utes. Morris-Edwards and Olsen almost had their reunion last season when Olsen was a backup quarterback for BYU. Morris-Edwards received playing time in the game, but Olsen remained on the sidelines.
In the spring Olsen transferred back to Southern Utah, the university he had originally committed to before leaving on his LDS mission. Morris-Edwards transferred to Weber State over the summer. He was one of several Utes to follow former Utah assistant coach Jay Hill to the Wildcats.
“They’re great football players, but even better young men. I’m very, very proud of both of those guys,” Hamilton said. “I’m really hoping to make it down to the game Saturday night to watch and support these guys.”
The respect runs both ways between the former teammates, as Olsen also called Morris-Edwards a great athlete.
“He’s a great athlete. When I graduated I know he had an amazing blowout year and got really good,” Olsen said. “Tyron and I were always really good friends. We had a quarterback-receiver relationship, so we hung out. I haven’t been able to keep in touch as much with Tyron, but we’re still really good friends. It’ll be fun to see him back there.”
When asked if he was looking forward to playing defense against his former teammate, Morris-Edwards laughed and said he was.
“I’ve always had that in the back of my mind as a player,” Morris-Edwards said.
Olsen said that he was looking forward to the upcoming game, especially because of the connections between both sides.
“It’s gonna be fun playing against someone I played with in high school,” Olsen said. “And Billy Green and I were roommates at BYU. This is going to be like a neighborhood game, a lot of people know a lot of people from north and south Utah, so I think it’s gonna be a fun game.”
As the two former teammates prepare to face off against each other Saturday night, Hamilton said he was happy that his former players had been given opportunities to succeed.
“I want them to be able to live their dreams: playing college football and doing all those great things that as a high school player you dream of doing,” Hamilton said. “They’re a couple of kids that have been able to live that dream. I’m very very proud of them.”
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. for the Wildcats (0-4) as they begin conference play against the Thunderbirds (0-4).