Jake Olson has been named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. The USC long-snapper, who happens to be blind, made his emotional on-field debut on Saturday with a perfect snap against Western Michigan.
Olson’s story has been well-detailed, as he was a die-hard USC fan who lost both of his eyes due to cancer. When Pete Carroll found out about his story, he invited the 12-year-old kid to essentially be a part of the team. Olson was a fixture around the program for weeks before and after surgery to remove his right eye. He lost his left eye when he was just 10 months old.
But Olson loved football, and wound up working insanely hard to become the long snapper for field goals and extra points at Orange Lutheran High School. His goal was to one day wind up on the field at USC. He enrolled as a freshman in 2015 and has been a regular member of the team every since, attending practice, snapping and working out just like everyone else. This isn’t some kind of random stunt, Olson has worked for his opportunity.
When asked about watching Olson’s snap, Carroll said he couldn’t stop crying. I have a feeling a lot of people across the country felt the same way.
Jake Olson’s story is an inspirational one, and it was wonderful of the Pac-12 to recognize his amazing moment.