At USC, Olson made the team as a non-scholarship player in 2015. When he enters a game, teammates have to guide Olson—who is listed on USC's roster at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds—onto the field and into position. They then have to position his body so he can snap the ball properly.
Each time that’s happened, though, Olson has fired a perfect spiral through his legs to his holder, allowing USC’s kicker to send the ball through the uprights—and the crowd at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum into a frenzy.
Olson relies a lot on muscle memory to snap the ball: “A lot of it is feel, being cognizant of body movements and replicating movements so I know I have a successful outcome.” He also relies on his hearing to know how far and where to snap the ball.
Eventually, Olson hopes to snap more regularly on field goals and extra points. Still, his blindness will keep him off USC’s punting unit: “There are major coverage responsibilities for a long snapper, and it would be difficult for me to get downfield,” he said.
That’s one of the few limitations Olson has had to accept. He plays golf and can shoot in the 70s over 18 holes, according to Yahoo Sports. He’s even driven a race car at Charlotte Motor Speedway: With former NASCAR driver Todd Bodine guiding him from the passenger seat, Olson drove as fast as 75 mph. “It was fun,” Olson said. “I felt a certain freedom, especially knowing I wasn’t going to crash into a barrier.”
He currently serves on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition and even met President Trump during a field day on the White House lawn. He’s appeared in a video on conservative commentator Dennis Prager’s website PragerU.com, explaining why school choice would benefit special-needs students. He also travels around the country as a motivational speaker and has written two faith-based books about overcoming adversity.
Olson says he’s grateful to God for the strength He gave to a scared 12-year-old boy: “There were times when I asked, ‘What are You doing? I don’t understand where You’re going with this.’ Looking back, I get it now.”