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SAN MARCOS, Calif. — San Diego native Chris Olave, a stud wide receiver who played at Mission Hills High School, was picked early in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft Thursday night.

The New Orleans Saints selected Olave, who grew up in San Ysidro and later starred at Ohio State University, 11th overall. The Saints traded up in the draft order to make their pick.

That brought a roar of approval from Coach Chris Hauser and other friends and family who gathered for a draft watch party Thursday night.

Hauser coached Olave during his junior and senior seasons. The wideout transferred to Mission Hills in San Marcos after his father got a job in North County.

“I’m over-the-top excited right now,” Hauser told FOX 5 in a phone interview Thursday morning, as he prepared for that evening’s festivities.

While Olave was still developing physically as a player when he met Hauser, the coach said his wide receiver showed immense talent the second he stepped on the gridiron.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” Hauser told FOX 5. “You see his exceptional athleticism just ‘pop.’ … He made a big splash on the field right off the bat.”

Hauser was proud to watch Olave as a standout for the Buckeyes, further developing his elite route-running and becoming a coveted NFL prospect.

Even as his game evolved, some things didn’t change, Hauser said. The even-keel wide receiver made a point to keep in touch with his alma mater, even through the pandemic.

“He’s a low-key kid, a low-key man,” the coach told FOX 5. “He’s still Chris, in such a good way … His parents did a great job.”