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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 01 2013

Hospitalized Bison linebacker Olson is probable for FCS title game

FARGO – North Dakota State football fans in the know on the health of star linebacker Grant Olson got a good start on a New Year’s wish. At least he’s making the trip to Frisco, Texas.

Olson was hospitalized with an undisclosed ailment, although head coach Craig Bohl said Tuesday that Olson had some tests done over concerns with his appendix. Bohl could not elaborate further, citing student privacy concerns.

“I would say the outlook is promising that he’ll play,” Bohl said.

Olson is the team’s leading tackler and captain. As the middle linebacker, he’s responsible for many of the on-field defensive calls and adjustments, something that is vital against an explosive offensive team like Sam Houston State.

The Bison and Bearkats play for the Division I Football Championship Subdivision title on Saturday. NDSU leaves this morning and will practice in Frisco this afternoon.

The Bison are already without two defensive standouts in safety Colten Heagle and nose guard Leevon Perry, both of whom suffered ACL injuries during the season. Losing Olson would probably cause some re-shuffling at linebacker, with outside linebacker Carlton Littlejohn perhaps switching to the middle.

But look for Olson to play. The term “probable” in Bohl’s tenure usually means it would take something unforeseen for him not to play.

“They’re going through a process to clear him,” Bohl said of physicians.

News of Olson’s health first surfaced on Sunday when, on his Twitter account, he asked for “any prayers for healing and health.” Later, an Instagram picture of him presumably in a hospital appeared on the NDSU Media Blog website on The Forum’s Areavoices engine.

But on Tuesday, after the team’s morning practice at the Fargodome, Bohl calmed fears that Olson’s season was done.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia