USC's Jake Olson snaps for PAT: 'Something I'll remember forever'

Olson tried to suppress his emotions during PAT (2:07)

Jake Olson speaks to the media about his emotions after taking the field in the fourth quarter to successfully snap an extra point. (2:07)

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 was aware that Olson was entering the game and did not rush the kick. USC won 49-31.

"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. 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.

USC coach Clay Helton was complimentary of Western Michigan coach Tim Lester for signing 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."

Olson knew going into the game that if the opportunity presented itself, he might get a chance to snap. The game remained close, however, which made his chances seem unlikely. That changed when Marvell Tell III returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown with 3:13 left in the fourth quarter, making the score 48-31.

Helton asked Olson if he was ready, and he was.

"I tried to suppress my emotions as much as I could because I have a job to do, and I wanted to make sure I got that done," Olson said. "Then tonight I can look at videos and get all emotional over it. It was very special, hearing my name being called over the P.A. system."

In the stands, his parents, Brian and Cindy, watched with a mix of nervousness and excitement.

"I didn't want him to be put in when it was really close," Cindy said. "I was like, 'Don't give him that pressure.' I would be scared, even though he isn't. He went in there like a pro, and it was a great snap."

Here is some cool video of blind long-snapper Jake Olson being embraced by his family coming out of the locker room.

Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer5y ago

Olson officially joined the team in 2015, thanks to a scholarship with the Swim With Mike program, and he has snapped in the past two spring games.

He told ESPN last year that 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.

Helton said there probably will be more opportunities for Olson to play in the future.