One of the more amazing stories connected to college football appears set for a new chapter.
Jake Olson, a blind long snapper who had become part of the Trojan family a half-dozen years ago as a 12-year-old after then coach Pete Carroll had heard about how Olson wanted to see his favorite team play one more game before a surgery that would cost him his eyesight, tweeted Monday that he will join the USC football team when it takes the practice field Tuesday.
That Olson could suit up and put on the famed USC helmet would be truly remarkable.
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When Olson was 10 months old, he lost his left eye to cancer. After 11 years of battling the disease while going through radiation treatment and chemotherapy, he lost his right eye in 2009 at age 12. Shortly before the surgery to remove the eye, Carroll invited Olson and his family to meet the team; the bond shared by Olson, Carroll and Trojans players made national news back then.
Since those days, Carroll, of course, moved on to the NFL. Olson sprouted to 6-4 and he tried out and made the Orange Lutheran High team as a snapper. Days before Carroll's team made it to the Super Bowl two years ago, I spoke with Olson, who the coach hosted on the Seahawks sidelines. Olson would've been at CenturyLink for the NFC Title game, but instead he had to travel to New York to appear on FOX News Channel's "Fox & Friends" to share his inspiring story and talk about the motivational book he had just written titled, "Open Your Eyes."
Last April, the LA Times reported that Olson planned on joining the Trojans team; however the NCAA said USC needed a waiver because he accepted a Swim With Mike scholarship to attend USC, which is given to athletes with physical challenges, meaning he'd count toward one of the available 85 scholarship spots on the roster. And USC was already at its 25-person limit of initial scholarship counters for this season.
When contacted by FOX Sports on Monday night in an effort to confirm that Olson has been cleared to join the team, a USC spokesperson said Olson will likely be out at practice Tuesday.