LOS ANGELES — Blind long-snapper Jake Olson is officially a letter winner at USC.
Following a Trojans touchdown that put Saturday’s game against Western Michigan out of reach late in the fourth quarter, Olson came on and snapped for a successful extra point. Western Michigan appeared to know it was possible Olson would appear and did not rush the kick. USC won 49-31.
Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, and lost his left eye when he was 10 months old. In 2009, at age 12, he learned he needed surgery to remove his right eye, which would completely cost him his vision. Olson developed a close relationship with the USC program at the time and spent the night before his surgery watching USC practice.
He officially joined the team in 2015, thanks to a scholarship with the Swim With Mike program, and has snapped in the past two spring games.
Olson told ESPN last year his goal was to eventually win the starting job for the Trojans.
“I just have to continue to take steps forward until everyone is on board and some of those doubts that I know some coaches have are gone,” he said in the spring of 2016. “I’m waiting to have more opportunities to show the coaches that I have the talent to go out there and snap.”
Olson spent two years as the starting varsity long-snapper on field goals and extra points at Orange Lutheran High in Southern California.