Seattle Times staff reporter
FEDERAL WAY — Annamarie Olive always had big plans for her only child.
And as Uso Olive grew bigger and bigger, those visions included a college football scholarship — as a means to a higher education, always her top priority.
When Uso signs his letter of intent with Portland State next February, Annamarie will be by his side — in spirit and in a prominent photograph. She died on Feb. 2 from complications following her fifth heart surgery in six years. She was 46.
Uso, just 16 at the time, didn't let his grief stand in the way of the path the two had carved out for him. He got up the next morning and attended classes at Federal Way High School because he knew it was what she would have wanted him to do.
"Education was No. 1 to her," Uso said. "I just want to fulfill my and her plans, because we had a lot of plans together.
"She promised me she was going to be at my signing day, so when my signing day comes up, I'm just going to have a big picture of her right next to me. There's something bigger out there for me, and I know she wants me to focus on that more, so I've just got to stay strong."
Strong. That word applies in more ways than one way to Uso Olive, who said he's never even known his father's name. The 6-foot-1, 295-pound nose guard can bench press 445 pounds and squat 605. Plus, he runs a 5-flat 40-yard dash, a combination that has him ranked as the No. 1 senior defensive lineman in the state, according to Scout.com.
"That's cookin' for a boy/man-child that size," Federal Way coach John Meagher said. "He can run."