While he hasn’t been the most impactful player on the field, blind USC long snapper Jake Olson has had perhaps one of the greatest stories in college football in recent years.
On Saturday, that story came to a close.
The senior took the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the final time on Saturday night for USC’s game against No. 3 Notre Dame, and was joined by his dad and his guide dog, Quebec.
USC long snapper Jake Olson lost his sight at age 12 after being born with retinoblastoma.
He was joined by his dad and guide dog Quebec as he walked out to the Coliseum field for his last time as a Trojan. pic.twitter.com/LoIw1IpW51
— ESPN (@espn) November 25, 2018
Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina. He lost the sight in both of his eyes, one at age 10 and the other at age 12. He had his right eye removed in 2009, and then-USC coach Pete Carroll invited Olson to meet the team.
After snapping in high school, he was granted a waiver and started practicing with the team in 2015 after walking on. He participated for the first time in the 2016 spring game, and then for the first time in a live game in 2017 against Western Michigan.
He won the Walter Camp Award of Perseverance last week, too.
And while it seems like it would be tough to snap the ball while blind, Olson has drilled perfect snaps over and over throughout his career.
Jake Olson takes the snap and it's perfect! #OSUvsUSC
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 7, 2017
“I just loved being out there,” Olson said after his first live snap against Western Michigan in 2017. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I’ll remember forever. Getting to snap at USC as a football player … I’m trying to say as much as I can, because I can’t quite believe it yet.”
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