Rare Disease Report

Rare Blind Football Player Makes Play of the Week

SEPTEMBER 04, 2017
James Radke
University of Southern California (USC) Trojans named long-snapper, Jake Olson, as player of the game, after their convincing 49-31 win over Western Michigan.

Olson was only part of one play in the game but it was the most memorable play.

Olson has been blind since the age of 12 when he lost his second eye to retinoblastoma. He lost his first eye when he was 10-months old.

Retinoblastoma is a rare type of cancer that most often occurs in children and while most children survive the cancer, the majority will lose their ability to see.

Growing up, Olson was huge USC Trojans fan and watched as many games as possible before losing his sight in 2009. When former USC coach Pete Carroll learned of Olson’s story he invited him to practices, then went a step further and made him an honorary member of the team.

After losing his sight, Olson decided to stop just being a fan and to be a player and in his final two years of high school, he was the varsity long snapper for the football team at Orange Lutheran. In 2015 he earned a spot on the roster of the team he grew up loving, the USC Trojans.

This past weekend, all his practicing paid off when Olson was led on field to snap the ball during the game.

The extra point came after a pick-6 play allowed the Trojans to go up 48 to 31 in the last few minutes of the game, Coach Clay Holton called on long-snapper Olson to help with the extra point. With both the offensive and defensive lines looking on, Olson fired back a perfect spiral for Chase McGrath to kick the extra point.

Below is the play of the game and some of the post-game highlights.

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