The Wall Of Excellence, Class Of 2012: Brock Olivo

Our fifth inductee went from beloved to polarizing when his name ended up on the Memorial Stadium wall. I assume that putting his name on this wall, however, will be a bit less controversial.

Brock Olivo (1994-97)

Image via Todd Warshaw/Allsport/Getty Images

MUtigers.com Bio: There aren't many instances in the game of football these days when a team's starting tailback is allowed to participate on special teams, let alone volunteers for such duties.

The story of former Mizzou running back Brock Olivo, however, is one of those instances. Olivo, whose number 27 will be retired this afternoon during the Tigers' home opener against Eastern Illinois, was known not only for his prowess on the offensive side of the ball, but also for his diligence to all aspects of the Tigers' special teams unit.

In 1997, his senior year, the Washington, Mo., native was named the first-ever recipient of the Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Player of the Year Award, becoming the first Mizzou football player to ever earn a national honor. Olivo, who recorded nine special teams tackles in addition to his blocking duties on the return teams, harbors a sense of disbelief at being the first Tiger to receive such recognition.

"Whoever was selecting national awards over the years must have been looking at a map that didn't include the state of Missouri. I guess they must have updated it in '97," he says.

While Olivo rose to prominence with his special teams accomplishments in the '97 season, it was also a milestone year for the senior in his role as Mizzou's starting tailback.

By the end of the year, Olivo's name stood at the top of the Tigers' all-time career lists for most rushing yards (3,026), rushing touchdowns (27), and all-purpose yards (3,475).

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