Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and USC long-snapper Jake Olson go back a long way. Olson was hanging around Carroll and the USC football program back at the age of 10 and 11 when Carroll was still coaching the Trojans. This was before Olson had lost the sight in both of his eyes due to cancer.
Olson played in a competitive situation on Saturday for the Trojans for the first time ever. He perfectly executed a snap on an extra point, and his teammates were obviously very moved and happy for him (watch here).
Carroll was deeply touched watching his old buddy in action, too.
“From the time he was 10 years old he’s been doing remarkable things,” Carroll said Monday, per The News Tribune. “He wrote his first book at 10, and onward. For a guy to go out there and play in a college football game — snap a ball, and they kick the extra point and make it — you know, that’s just something. Just something about Jake.
“Jake’s a huge story, and he’s one for all of us. The courage and character and grit and vision. Special qualities that few people would be able to hold onto. He’s going to be a big factor, and we’re all going to see him do a lot of stuff in this world, and there’s nothing that’s going to hold Jake back.
“I was so excited to see him, I couldn’t stop crying. It was thrilling. Good to see it, and good to see the Trojans win, too,” Carroll said, chuckling a bit.
Carroll also related a story about Olson wanting to play golf at Augusta, or at least walk the course, before he lost his sight. He wanted to be able to play the course by memory, knowing his sight was going to fail him.
Obviously Olson is one of the rare people in this world who can inspire others by triumphing regardless of difficult circumstances. Him playing in a game Saturday was the best thing about the opening week of college football in 2017, and we cannot wait to see him get back into action soon.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) September 3, 2017
The Trojans have a stern test coming up. They will be hosting the Stanford Cardinal in a pivotal Pac-12 matchup on Saturday, Sept. 9. starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Stay up late and watch this one if you can, east coast fans.