Blind Football Player Takes Practice Field for USC
'He's out here working his butt off'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2015 2:26 PM CDT
Jake Olson, who is blind, jokes around with a teammate during football practice yesterday at USC.   (John McGillen/USCTrojans.com via AP)

(Newser) – Eighteen-year-old Jake Olson may be blind, but that's not stopping him from seeing his dream of taking the football field for the USC Trojans come true. Olson, who was born with cancer of the retina, lost his left eye at 10 months old and his right eye when he was 12, the Los Angeles Times reports. Even so, he still earned a spot as the long snapper on his high school's varsity football team, USC News reports. And yesterday the USC freshman joined his new teammates on the practice field for the first time. "It's great to have him in the locker room," USC quarterback Cody Kessler tells the Times. "He never makes excuses; he never complains about anything. He's out here working his butt off."

Though he's only had one practice so far, USC News reports that coach Steve Sarkisian hopes to get Olson into a game at some point. "He did a good job," Sarkisian tells the Times. "I'm proud of the work that he put in." In high school, teammates would lead Olson onto the field and get him lined up, then the kicker would clap to let Olson know where he was, USC News reports. That's pretty much how it worked at USC practice yesterday, with Olson snapping balls to the kickers, according to the Times. “I always felt like USC was my second home,” Olson tells USC News. “When I was losing my sight, it became a place where I could find comfort and joy. And that never stopped.”
 

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