Who are the best ten players in USC football history? We wanted to settle the debate once and for all among USC fans. After much debate and banter here in the Chat Sports office, and after watching 1000's of hours of film, we have decided who should be the top ten.
So, without further ado, we present the Top Ten players in USC football history!
#10: Ricky Bell - RB
Bell was born April 8, 1955 in Houston, Texas. In 1975 he lead the Trojans to a 7-0 start and they finished with a record of 8-4, but also won the Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M. In that same season he led the nation in rushing with 1,875 yards and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. In the 1977 NFL draft he was the first round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; he later played for the San Diego Changers in 1982.
#9: Carson Palmer - QB
Palmer was born December 27, 1979 in Fresno, California. In 1998 he became the second freshman to start as the quarterback for the Trojans. In his senior year he completed 309 of 489 passes for 3942 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions, and led the Trojans to win the Orange Bowl against the University of Iowa. Palmer became the fifth USC Heisman Trophy winner, the first as a QB. Due to how well he did as a USC Trojan, he left college as an all time leader in passing yards, completions, and total offense for the Pac-12 Conference. In the 2003 NFL draft he was the first round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, but he is currently playing for the Oakland Raiders.
#8: Anthony Davis - RB
Davis was born September 8, 1952 in Huntsville, Texas. He carried 784 times for 3,772 yards and 44 touchdowns in his USC career. In a 1972 game vs Notre Dame Davis scored six touchdowns, two of which were kick returns. The first kick return was for 97 yards in the opening kick off to the second quarter and the second was later in the game for another 96 yards, after Notre Dame score a touchdown. In a 1974 game Davis brought the Trojans back from a 24-0 loss and led the team to win 55-24. In that same year he placed second in the Heisman Trophy ballot. Davis was a round 2 pick in the 1975 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
#7: Lynn Swann - WR
Swann was born march 7, 1952 in Alcoa, Tennessee. Swann played for the Trojans under coach John McKay, which also included the 1972 season in which the Trojans went undefeated and won the National Championship. Swann was a first round pick in the 1974 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers; he played for the Steelers until 1982. He also became a 4 time Super Bowl champion, one of which he became a Super Bowl MVP.
#6: - RB
Garrett was born April 12, 1944 in Los Angeles, California. He set many records with, what was then unheard of, 3,221 yards and scoring 30 touchdowns and in 1965 he led the nation in rushing with 267 carries for 1,440. He caught 36 passes, threw six passes and two went for touchdowns, returned 43 punts, and returned 30 kickoffs. He was a second round pick in the 1966 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and later played for the San Diego Chargers from 1970-1973.
#5: Charles White - RB
White was born January 22, 1958 in Los Angeles, California. He received multiple awards and was successful in his USC career, which included: 1978 Pro Bowl, 1979 Heisman Trophy, 1979 Maxwell Award, 1979 Walter Camp Award, 1979 UPI Player of the Year, and 1980 Rose Bowl MVP. White was a first round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He also played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1985-1988.
#4: Reggie Bush - RB
Bush was born March 2, 1985 in San Diego, California. As a freshman he quickly showed how talented he could was in carrying, catching, throwing and returning the ball. In 2003 he became the first Trojan since Anthony Davis to lead in kickoff returns in the Pac-12. The following year Bush was elected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate, but finished fifth, and became the teams MVP. Bush unanimously became a First Team All-American and won the Heisman Trophy in 2005, which was later vacated. After USC he was a first round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints and is currently playing for the Miami Dolphins.
#3: Matt Leinart - QB
Leinart was born May 11, 1983 in Santa Ana, California. As a sophomore he played his first career game and won the first three games. His fourth game was lost to California in overtime. This caused the Trojans to drop from No. 3 to No. 10. In the next eight games of the season Leinart and the Trojans won without losing, ending in a 11-1 season. In 2004 Leinart was elected to be the Heisman Trophy winner in what many considered the most competitive Heisman race. This Heisman race consisted of teammate Reggie Bush, Oklahoma freshman Adrian Peterson, incumbent Jason White and Utah's Alex Smith. At the end of his college career he finished with a 64.8% completion percentage for 10,693 yards and 99 touchdowns with just 23 interceptions.
#2: O.J. Simpson - RB
Simpson was born July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, California. His freshman year he led the nation in rushing he ran for 1,451 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. As a sophomore he led the nation in rushing with 355 carries for 1,709 yards. He won the Heisman Trophy as a senior with 1,709 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. Other awards that he won as a Trojan are Walter Camp Award 1967, UPI Player of the Year 1967 and 1968, and the Maxwell Award 1968. Simpson was a first round pick in the 1969 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and later played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1978-1979.
#1: Marcus Allen - RB
Allen was born March 26, 1960 in Carlsbad, California. During his first season as a Trojan he was a backup for Charles White. Allen became the starter at tailback in 1980 and rushed for 1,563 yards, the second-most in the nation that year. In his senior year, 1981, became the first player in NCAA history to rush for over 2,000 yards in one season by rushing for 2,342 yards. Allen totaled 2,683 offensive yards and won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award. He was a first round pick in the 1982 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Raiders and later played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993-1997.
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