The roar of the crowd and the crunch of the turf beneath his feet couldn’t distract USC Football player Jake Olson, 20, from executing a perfect snap for an extra point that helped secure USC's win against Western Michigan. Blind due to retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina, the athlete had his left eye removed when he was a baby, and his right eye at 12-years-old. The last thing he saw before having that eye removed was a USC Football practice.
Hearing his story, the team began including Jake in experiences from running through the stadium tunnel, to locker room pep talks, and walking the sidelines during games. When Jake learned about long snapping, he realized that he could transition from the sidelines to the gridiron.
“It kind of clicked in my mind that it is a consistent position in that you’re snapping the same distance for every snap."
Jake earned a spot as the starting long snapper on his high school varsity team and was respected as a solid player. "We didn't see him as a blind person," said a high school teammate. "We saw him as a football player."
Jake's talent on the field contributed to his 2015 scholarship to USC.
Watch as Jake executes the perfect long snap to help bring his team to victory!
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