10 Best USC Linebackers of All-Time

USC football linebacker Junior Seau.
USC football linebacker Junior Seau. / Mike Powell/Getty Images
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1 Jan 1990: Members of the USC Trojans celebrate after winning the Rose Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. USC won the game 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell /Allsport
1 Jan 1990: Members of the USC Trojans celebrate after winning the Rose Bowl against the Michigan Wolverines at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. USC won the game 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell /Allsport /

9. Scott Ross (1987-1990)

Though he was overshadowed by high-impact pass rushers like Junior Seau and Tim Ryan, along with the Trojans’ only ever Thorpe winner Mark Carrier, Scott Ross was the anchor at middle linebacker for a nationally dominant defense at the peak of the Larry Smith era.

A three-time All-Pac-10 first-teamer, Ross’s most productive season came in 1988 as a sophomore in his first season as a full-time starter.

He led the team with 137 tackles –including 12 for losses– and had a team-high four recovered fumbles.

Two years later, Ross capped off his stellar career by being named a first-team All-American and USC’s team MVP.

He wasn’t always the sexiest player, but Ross’s legacy is a testament to his leadership and ability to control the middle of the field.

A prototypical middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, he gave the Trojans a grounded identity, allowing aggressive playmakers like Seau and Ryan space to wreck havoc.

He also set the stage for an ideal at USC, which has seen players like Jeff Kopp and Cameron Smith wear the No. 35 to follow suit.

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