Blind Quarterback Relies Solely on His Memory to Help His Team

Jasen Bracy became completely blind at the age of 7, but he didn’t let that setback come between him and his dream of playing football, and he is now a quarterback for the Modesto Raiders.

Jasen, who lives in Modesto, California, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that causes tumors in the retina, when he was only 1-year-old. Despite undergoing several treatments to treat his condition, there was no saving his eyesight, and by age 7, Jasen was completely blind. Today, the only thing he can distinguish is whether it is daytime or nighttime. But despite growing up blind, Jasen never hesitated in following his dreams, no matter how ambitious they may have seemed. And it was this ambitious attitude that won him the role of quarterback on a local football team.

The 15-year-old grew up following the sport of football at least three times a week, attending local games with his father, who would narrate the action going down on the field. He fell in love with the sport and knew that he wanted to give it a try himself. He started practicing with his dad, and two years ago, when his parents gifted him his own iPhone, he started contacting all the football teams in the area to see if they’d had him.

The ambitious teen’s parents had no idea of his attempts to find a football team until they got a phone call from David Nichols, coach of the Modelo Raiders, who said “Hey, I got a call from your son asking if he can come play football for us, but did he say he was blind?'”


Nichols admits that the first time he saw Jasen Bracy, he asked himself “how am I going to do this?” but after seeing the boy play, he realized that the kid “could do anything”. What Jasen lacks in vision, he more than makes up for in spatial awareness and memory, knowing exactly where his teammates are supposed to be, and throwing the ball with pinpoint accuracy.

“He knows where to be at, where to hand the ball off, where the kid’s going to be at, he knows how to get the points,” Nichols told CNN.


Most of the time, the players on the opposing team don’t even know that Jasen is blind, so they treat him like any other player, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I don’t tell them, not before or after the game, so they don’t even think about easing up on me,” Jasen Bracy said. “I’m the quarterback, and one of the quarterback’s jobs is leading the team. As a leader, I have to take control of this team, lead them through good and bad times no matter the situation I have to get us through. And I’m tough as iron. I am going to play hard.”


In order to fulfill his role on the court and help his team, Jasen always memorizes every play and all the positions his teammates should be in when he throws the ball. He also has his dad walking him through all the plays and what’s going on the field, through a walkie-talkie.

“Just seeing him, he shows me there’s nothing you can’t do, and that reflects on the other kids. Ever since he’s been on my team, the team gravitates around him,” coach Nichols said. “It changes their whole outlook on life. He makes the season. Even if we don’t win, just having that chemistry with the team has probably been one of the best things I’ve ever been around.”


Jasen Bracy practices other sports as well, like swimming and baseball, but football is his passion, and he dreams of one day reaching the National Football League.

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