Blind long snapper to walk on as member of USC's football team

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015

Jake Olson, an 18-year-old who is blind and grew up as a USC football fan, will join the team as a walk-on long snapper, according to the Los Angeles Times

Olson, who was born with a rare cancer of the retina, lost his left eye when he was 10 months old and his right eye at the age of 12 after doctors deemed it necessary to remove. 

Before Olson lost his sight completely, then-Trojans coach Pete Carroll invited him and his family to meet the team, as detailed in the Times. He became an inspiration for USC's players and chose to spend his last day with sight by attending a team practice.

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Olson later learned to play long snapper, eventually earning the starting position on his high school team. From the Times:

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Olson has been admitted to USC, but not as one of the university's incoming 24-player football recruiting class. He is a recipient of a Swim With Mike scholarship, awarded annually from the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship fund.

[...] Olson was introduced as a Swim With Mike scholarship winner in February during an event where video highlights of incoming football players were shown to Trojans fans. He would join the program as a walk-on.

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Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian told the Times that Olson will snap in a game for USC one day. 

"When? I don't know. But it will happen," Sarkisian said. "When that day comes, it will be awesome."

- Molly Geary

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