92 days to USC football: Rich Dimler and the underrated No. 92 jersey

RoT Countdown / Photo by Los Angeles Times (Photo By The Denver Post via Getty Images)
RoT Countdown / Photo by Los Angeles Times (Photo By The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

There are 92 days until USC football kicks off the 2019 season. So here’s a look at Rich Dimler and the underrated legacy of the No. 92.

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Another day marked off the countdown towards USC football’s 2019 season means another examination of a Trojan jersey.

Today it’s the No. 92, to mark 92 days until the Trojans take on Fresno State at the Coliseum.

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Who wore it best?

The No. 92 jersey is still awaiting its first ever All-American representative, but that doesn’t mean the jersey hasn’t had its share of standout players.

Rich Dimler put it on from 1975 to 1978 and did his team proud.

As the co-captain of USC’s 1978 national championship team, Dimler was a stalwart on the defensive line. Such was his impact that he was voted the Trojans’ Defensive Player of the Year.

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Newspapers like the San Bernardino County Sun wrote of how the 6-foot-6 lineman “traded gang fights for gang tackles” having grown up rough-and-tumble in New Jersey.

But he was more than the thick New Jersey accent and tough-guy persona. He was also an Academic All-American and incredibly popular among his teammates and coaches.

When he died from pancreatitis at age 44 in 2000, former Trojan assistant Marv Goux sang his praises.

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“Where he came from, you had to be tough just to walk down the street for breakfast. He was the kind of guy you’d want on your side when the fight started,” Goux was quoted in the Los Angeles Times.

From 1983 to 1985, nose guard Tony Colorito, who hailed from Brooklyn, carried on the legacy of the jersey as an all-conference selection in his final season.

A short while later, Don Gibson picked up the mantle in 1987 and departed in 1990 as a team captain and all-conference first teamer.

Who wears it now?

Back in 2016, two Trojans donned the No. 92 jersey: defensive tackle Jacob Daniel and longsnapper Zach Smith.

Smith graduated while Daniel swapped to the offensive line in 2017, giving up his No. 92 for the No. 52.

Since then, no player has put on the shirt.

Stats to know: 92

  • Running back Marcus Allen was the 92nd All-American in USC history, grabbing the honor in the same season as guard Roy Foster and linebacker Chip Banks.
  • USC’s 1962 national title team allowed just 92 points all season. That’s the third-lowest scoring total for a Trojan defense ever. The 1965 team also held opponents to 92 points.
  • Adoree’ Jackson had 92 career rushing yards on 15 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per touch.
  • Marqise Lee led USC’s 2012 team with 92 points to his name.
  • Mike McKeever led USC with 92 tackles in 1958.
  • Johnny Williams is USC’s career leader in punt return yardage. He gained 1,025 yards on 92 returns in his career.

Next. 93 Days to Kickoff