Jake Olson is unlike any other member of the University of Southern California Trojans football team.
For starters, the 18-year-old has been an honorary member of the team since 2009.
Also, he’s blind.
Olson was born with retinoblastoma, a rare form of retinal cancer. He would eventually beat his illness but totally lost his sight by the age of 12. Still, even this disability couldn’t stop Jake from developing a deep passion for football after welcoming former USC head coach Pete Carroll into his life.
We’ve heard countless stories of sports teams influencing the lives of children with disabilities, but none of them have come close to matching Jake’s inspiring tale.
After getting involved with USC football, Olson has gone on to post a 4.3 GPA, earn admittance to USC, write TWO faith-based, motivational books and raise countless dollars through his Out of Sight Faith foundation.
Oh, and he’s grown into a 195-lb 6’4″ football and golf letter-man, whom current Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian has granted a walk-on spot. “Someday, he’s going to snap in a game for us,” Sarkisian told the L.A. Times. “When? I don’t know. But it will happen… When that day comes, it will be awesome.”
Still, Olson doesn’t expect to be treated differently than any of the other players. He only wants the “opportunity to prove himself like everybody else,” and with an attitude like that, you can’t help but cheer for this young man to succeed.