A college football player who has been blind since age 12 snapped for a successful extra point Saturday, helping the University of Southern California to a 49-31 victory against Western Michigan.
Jake Olson entered the game with 3:13 to play in the fourth quarter. The Trojans’ Marvel Tell III had just returned an interception for a touchdown, allowing Olson to make his first appearance in a regular-season game. The Western Michigan players were aware that Olson was in the game and did not rush the kick. Olson delivered a perfect snap and USC converted for the final margin of victory.
“I loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I'll remember forever, getting to snap at USC as a football player.”
Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer, and he lost his left eye when he was 10 months old, ESPN reported. In 2009, at age 12, he learned he needed surgery to remove his right eye, which would completely cost him his vision.
USC coach Clay Helton had praise for Western Michigan coach Tim Lester, who signed off on Olson's debut.
“Very special moment for us with a very special guy at the end of the game,” Helton said. “I commend and I thank Coach Lester and the entire Western Michigan family for the honor of getting what I think is a very special person in Jake Olson in.”
“It was very special, hearing my name being called over the P.A. system,” Olson said.
USC alumnus Clay Matthews, who plays for the Green Bay Packers in the NFL, saluted Olson on Twitter, calling it “an inspiration.”
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