Jake Olson has always been considered an honorary member of the USC Trojans football team, but now he no longer has to use the word “honorary”.
General view of the line of scrimmage between the Southern California Trojans and the Idaho Vandals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
At 8 a.m. the morning of Move-in Day in August, Olson and his mom, Cindy, drove north on the 110 freeway to campus, retracing much of the same route they had traveled countless times during Olson’s 12 years of treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Olson was the long-snapper on field goal attempts for his high school team in Orange, California. So, USC had to request the NCAA grant a waiver to Olson, according to Yahoo Sports, and that finally came through on Monday. The coaches told him to wear No. 15 as homage to Nelson Agholor, who was last year’s top wide receiver. “It’s going to be a really physical game, and we got to match it”.
When he arrived in high school at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, Olson went out for football and made the team as the starting long-snapper. “But every time I was up at South Carolina or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun”. He lost his left eye at 10 months and endured numerous procedures created to save the right eye. We don’t see that at all.
Olson’s hard work has paid off. After witnessing Olson’s abilities at a walk-on tryout, Trojans Coach Steve Sarkisian, said confidently earlier this year, “Someday, he’s going to snap in a game for us”.
As has been the case with other freshmen, Sarkisian did not make Olson available to the media, citing the need for an acclimation period. “He doesn’t really want to be treated any differently, and that’s what I appreciate about Jake”. He had on the proper attire. Thanks to the Swim With Mike’s Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund, Olson will attend USC on a scholarship that will not count against the NCAA’s limit of 85 for football teams.