Jake Olson finally lived his dream of joining the USC football team as a player.
Olson, a blind long-snapper, suited up and joined the team for practice Tuesday after being granted a waiver by the NCAA.
He was wearing a yellow No. 17 jersey. The color is usually reserved for quarterbacks so they take minimal contact.
Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina. He lost one eye at 10 months and despite numerous procedures to save the right eye, he lost that one at age 12.
In 2009, shortly before the procedure to remove his right eye, then-USC coach Pete Carroll invited Olson and his family to meet the team. Since then, Olson, who is now 6-foot-4, tried out and made the Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High football team as a long snapper. He also played on the golf team.
Olsen was awarded a “Swim with Mike” scholarship to USC, which is given annually from the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship fund. However, the NCAA determined the scholarship was an athletic scholarship and Olson could not be classified as walk-on to the football team. At the time of the decision, USC did not have a scholarship spot open for the 2015 season.
However, the NCAA granted Olson and USC an exemption.
Coach Steve Sarkisian told the Los Angeles Times in April that he believed Olson would take the field as Trojan.
USC hosts Stanford this weekend.
For more USC news, visit TrojanSports.com.
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