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Former Miami QB Kevin Olsen will start season-opener for Charlotte

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Kevin Olsen? The former Miami Hurricane (and Greg's little brother) who got himself suspended a month before The U's 2014 season-opener at Louisville?

Well it turns out Olsen will get a shot at U of L in a season-opener after all. It'll just come playing for a program he could have never seen himself suiting up for when he was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school.

In winning Charlotte's quarterback job, Olsen beat out four other quarterbacks, including three -€” seniors Matt Johnson and Lee McNeill and junior Brooks Barden -€” who shared the position in 2015.

Now Olsen's challenge is to not just lead, but help revive Charlotte's offense, which was dominant under Johnson during the 49ers' first two seasons as a Football Championship Subdivision program. But the offense regressed in 2015, Charlotte's first in the Football Bowl Subdivision's Conference USA.

But Olsen will work with an experienced offensive line, preseason all-conference running back Kalif Phillips and a deep receiving corps. Johnson has been shifted to running back and will likely take snaps out of the wildcat formation in short-yardage situations.

"(Olsen) adds an extra dynamic to what we do," said senior receiver Austin Duke, the 49ers' career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. "He brings that sort of confidence and edge to the offense. He knows where the ball is supposed to go and he can get it there."

Said Lambert: "He brings intangibles. That's how it is with guys like Kevin. When there's a situation where everybody in the stadium knows we've got to throw, he's going to get it done."

Olsen should provide a much-needed boost to a position where Charlotte rotated three players a year ago, all of whom finished with more interceptions than touchdown passes.