The 2015 season marks the 50 year anniversary of the Trojans’ first Heisman win, when Mike Garrett hoisted the famed bronze trophy to set the gold standard of Tailback U.
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To honor the occasion, we at Reign of Troy have scoured the history books to rank the 50 greatest USC football players of the Heisman era, or since 1965. The list features Heisman winners like Garrett, along with countless All-Americans and trophy winners.
We start at No. 50 with one of the most recognizable Trojan alums and a proud member of Club 55, Willie McGinest.
50. Willie McGinest
Willie McGinest was more defensive end than linebacker, but he still stands among the great No. 55’s as a fierce defensive player overall.
USC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, McGinest terrorized opposing offenses with 23 tackles for loss with 16 sacks as a junior, which is among the best seasons by a Trojan pass rusher ever.
He once again led USC with 13 tackles for loss and six sacks in 1993, earning his second All-Conference nod.
As the fourth overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, McGinest joined the New England Patriots where he would carry on the great Trojan tradition of pro success. Earlier this year, it was announced that was elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame.