A Blind USC Player Pulled Off The Most Exciting Play In College Football’s First Week
With the USC Trojans up by 17 points over the Western Michigan Broncos and just 3:13 left in the fourth quarter, few football fans realized that the most exciting play of, not just the game, but the entire first week of college football, was ahead. Following a timeout, USC long-snapper Jake Olson took to the field to send the ball from the line of scrimmage to the holder for an extra point attempt by the kicker. Despite being such a common play in a game whose outcome appeared decided, the crowd roared. Jake Olson’s dream was about to come true.
Olson has been blind since childhood, having lost both eyes to retinal cancer. His left eye was removed when he was 10 months old; the cancer returned when he was 12, and doctors were forced to remove his right eye, rendering him legally blind. However, his dream was to play college football — more specifically, college football for USC. In 2015, Olson was awarded a scholarship reserved for players with disabilities and began practicing with the team. With the time waning in the fourth quarter against WMU, Olson finally walked on to the field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
He was finally getting his shot, but with the pressure and scrutiny that comes with it for any college athlete.
The snap was straight and the kick was good.
Olson’s appearance required planning by Trojans head coach Clay Helton and Western Michigan’s play-caller, Tim Lester. Earlier in the week, USC coach Helton approached Lester to express his hope that Olson could participate in the game in light of the safety issues present for both sides. The two worked out an arrangement: USC wouldn’t rush its defense on the WMU’s first extra-point attempt, and when the time came for USC to put in Olson, Helton would notify the WMU bench, and the Broncos would pay the Trojans the same courtesy.
Just seconds after Olson’s snap, the play was over and the celebration began on both sides.
The on-field festivities, including raucous celebration from the stands, were short-lived only because there was more football to be played. However, after the clock expired and USC won, the attention turned back to Olson.
For his performance, Olson has been named the PAC-12’s Special Teams Player of the Week.
Share image via Pac-12 Network/Twitter.
Former 49er Claims He’s Being Blackballed After Kneeling With Kaepernick Eric Reid feels he is being punished for activism.
This All-Girl Hockey Team In Harlem Is Changing The Game The program combines education, life-skills, and true grit. The program combines education, life-skills, and true grit.
Understanding The Science Of Para Ice Hockey A Canadian researcher explains the unique biomechanical skills of para hockey athletes.
The Astros' Visit To The White House Was As Awkward As Expected What better way to honor the American League MVP than by mocking his height?
Swearing Can Help Boost Your Physical Performance Be careful about where you try this out.
A Simple Guide To Entering A Million-Dollar NCAA Bracket, Even If You Don't Know Basketball In fact, vast basketball knowledge likely won’t help you much in these contests.
The Brasil Open Used Some Very Photogenic Rescue Dogs As Ball Boys And Girls Say hello to Bobby, Duda, Gabriel, Kika, Mel, and Thor.
Los Angeles Chargers Player Creates $10K Scholarship Fund In Memory Of Stoneman Douglas Football Coach Corey Liuget visited students to talk football and family.
The Paralympics Is Changing The Way People Perceive Disabilities The success of para-athletes at the 2018 Paralympics will help fuel this change. The success of para-athletes at the 2018 Paralympics will help fuel this change.