Top 5 USC Football Players of All Time

Top 5 USC Football Players of All Time

#5 Troy Polamalu (1999-2002)

Photo Credit: USC/USA Today

• Tackles: 278
• Interceptions: 6 (3 returned for TD), 4 blocked punts
• First-Team All American: 2
• National Champion: 0

Polamalu once stated, "I believe God named me Troy for a reason...I was born to come here." This realization by Polamalu was prophetic and accurate. Possibly the most devastating safety to ever don the cardinal and gold. Not many players flung themselves in harms way with the reckless abandon of Troy Polamalu. His combination of speed, strength, and freaksih ability to find the football, made him the best safety in college football for two seasons. 

#4 Richard Wood (1972-1974)

Photo Credit:

• First-Team All American: 3 (first Trojan to earn this honor three times)
• National Champion: 2

When did Woods' all time great career begin? Not on the field. His career began during the freshman orientation when players introduced themselves to their new teammate. Woods rose then declared, "I'm Batman from Gotham City." Batman flew around the field and wreaked havoc on opposing offenses en route to three consecutive All-America honors and lead the Trojans to two national championships.

#3 Mike Garrett (1963-1965)

• Rushing Attempts: 612
• Rushing Yards: 3,221
• Rushing TD: 25
• Receptions: 36
• Receiving Yards: 399
• Receiving TD: 4
• First-Team All-American: 1
• 1965 Heisman Trophy (*First Heisman winner in school history)

USC is best known for its prolific running backs. From O.J. Simpson to Reggie Bush. But many forget, before Simpson dominated the late 60s, Mike Garrett dominated early 60s. Garret was one of the first "All-Purpose" backs, he was a skilled receiver, able blocker, and gritty runner who was seldom tackled by the first defender he encountered.  

#2 Marcus Allen (1978-1981)

• Rushing Attempts: 932
• Rushing Yards: 4,810
• Rushing TD: 45
• Receptions: 86
• Receiving Yards: 801
• Receiving TD: 2
• 1981 Heisman Trophy

Marcus Allen was a silky smooth, elusive runner with deceptive strength. He could gallop by a defender or just as easily lower his shoulder and finish through a defender. His penchant for scoring in the red zone made him a particularly valuable commodity for the Trojans in the late 70s/early 80s. 

Getty Images

#1 O.J. Simpson (1967-1968)

• Rushing Attempts: 674
• Rushing Yards: 3,423
• Rushing TD: 36
• Receptions: 36
• Receiving Yards: 320
• 1968 Heisman Trophy (2nd in voting in 1967)

Orenthal James ("OJ"), nicknamed "The Juice" was fluid, powerful, lightening quick, and the definition of a workhorse. He carried the Trojans on his back in 1968, carrying the ball 383 times. The Juice joined a talented football program and converted them into the most dominant team on the west coast. 

Legal troubles aside, The Juice was not only the greatest player in one of college football's most storied program's, but Simpson was one of the greatest college football players to EVER play!

Honorable Mention


• Reggie Bush


Photo Credit: John Biever/Sports Illustrated


• Junior Seau


Photo Credit:

Top 5 Ohio State Football Players of All Time

Top 5 Ohio State Football Players of All Time

Top 5 NFL Receivers of All Time

Top 5 NFL Receivers of All Time