USC blind long snapper Jake Olson snaps on extra point

Arnold Nichols
September 3, 2017

USC long-snapper Jake Olson got a chance to prove you don't need to be able to see to play football.

Fans may remember Olson from Pete Carroll's days with the Trojans, specifically in 2009 when his story was part of ESPN's College GameDay, which documented his relationship with Carroll and the Trojans surrounding the surgery to remove Olson's left eye.

Olson lost his sight to a rare form of retinal cancer eight years ago, but never lost his dream of playing for USC.

"I loved being out there", Olson said.

Olson has been blind since the age of 12, and had never played in a live football game before Saturday.


In what had been a tight game throughout, USC pulled away late and, after an interception return for a touchdown by USC safety Marvel Tell with just over three minutes remaining in the game, coach Clay Helton sent Olson out as the long snapper for the extra point.

"After walking onto the team, the 6'4" Olson finally got his opportunity.

"Growing up a huge Trojan fan really makes me appreciate the significance of putting on a jersey and being part of the team, it's a very special time and thing that I get to do", Olson said previous year.

USC went on to win the game, 49-31, with Olson's extra point being the exclamation mark on the victory.

"It was very special, hearing my name being called over the P.A. system", Olson said.

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