Blind Teen Who Inspired USC Football Team Could Soon Be Part of It, Coach Sarkisian Says


Jake Olson, who lost his left eye at 10 months old to a rare form of cancer that eventually required surgery to remove his right eye at 12 years old, spent his last day of sight with the USC football team. “Someday, he’s going to snap in a game for us,” Coach Steve Sarkisian said recently. “When? I don’t know. But it will happen.” (Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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Jake Olson has walked through the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum tunnel side-by-side with USC football players, soaked in the roar of the crowd and reveled as the marching band played “Fight On” after Trojans touchdowns.

Over the years, while on the field as a guest of the program, Olson crouched like a center and felt the stadium turf with his hands.

“Any time I was down there,” he said, “I always tried to feel almost as if I was reaching for a ball.”

Olson is blind, but sometime in the next four years it’s possible he could trot onto the field and be guided by a USC teammate to the ball at the line of scrimmage.

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