77 days to USC football: The Trojans have a lucky number in No. 77

RoT Countdown / Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images (Reign of Troy)
RoT Countdown / Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images (Reign of Troy) /

The No. 77 has been quite a lucky number for USC football over the years, with Ron Yary, Anthony Munoz, Jacob Rogers and more representing it well.

Top Trojans Who Weren't All-Americans. BEST OF USC

There are 77 days until USC football returns!

Get in the mood for the coming season by walking down memory lane with Reign of Troy, as we explore the past, present and future of each Trojan number.

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Up next is one of the luckiest numbers in Trojan lore:

Who wore it best?

The No. 77 has an outrageously strong history in cardinal and gold. That’s not hyperbole in the slightest. Few jerseys have been so consistently well-represented on the USC roster.

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The timeline for the number goes like this:

  • 1950: USC captain and tackle Volney Peters achieves all-conference acclaim.
  • 1953: Tackle Ed Fouch is named all-conference.
  • 1954: Now a team captain, Fouch is once again voted to the all-conference team.
  • 1965: Future College Football Hall of Famer Ron Yary takes home the first of three all-conference selections while playing defensive tackle.
  • 1966: Yary, now an offensive tackle, becomes the first All-American to wear No. 77 as a consensus pick.
  • 1967: Yary earns unanimous All-American honors and becomes the Trojans’ first and only Outland Trophy winner as USC wins the national title.
  • 1968: Offensive tackle Sid Smith takes over Yary’s jersey with an all-conference nod.
  • 1969: Smith keeps the legacy going with an All-American nod himself.
  • 1972: Offensive tackle Pete Adams makes it three in a row by grabbing All-American honors as USC wins John McKay’s third national title.
  • 1978: Offensive tackle Anthony Munoz picks up all-conference honors while playing his part in the Trojans 1978 national championship run. An injury during his senior campaign seems to be the only thing preventing him from achieving All-American status.
  • 1984: USC captain and offensive lineman Ken Ruettgers is voted all-conference and wins USC’s Offensive Player of the Year Award.
  • 1990: Offensive tackle Pat Harlow wins the Morris Trophy as the Pac-10’s most outstanding lineman. Naturally, he gets an all-conference nod.
  • 1995: Offensive lineman John Michels is named to the all-conference team.
  • 2001: Offensive tackle Jacob Rogers, who was the first early enrollee tracked in Trojan history in 1999, is voted USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
  • 2002: Rogers helps drive USC to their Orange Bowl triumph as an all-conference selection.
  • 2003: Rogers caps his career with consensus All-American honors and the Morris Trophy while USC wins the national championship.
  • 2017: Offensive guard Chris Brown is voted USC’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
  • 2018: Brown repeats as the Trojan Lineman of the Year while picking up a first team All-Pac-12 selection from Pro Football Focus.

For those keeping count at home, that’s 10 Trojans who have earned all-conference acclaim. It’s 11 if you count Brown’s unofficial, and deserved, selection in 2018. USC has had one player in No. 77 check that box every decade since the 1950s.

That’s also four All-Americans for the jersey, making it one of just eight with as many. Only three others have more.

Munoz went on to become an NFL Hall of Famer. So did Yary. Both were picked in the Pac-12 All-Century team.

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Whichever way you slice it, No. 77 has been a hell of a lucky number for USC.

Who wears it now?

Brown’s graduation means the jersey is currently vacant.

As for who could fill those shoes, here’s an idea: Tennessee transfer Drew Richmond.

The former four-star prospect wore No. 51 for the Volunteers, but that number currently belongs to Bernard Schirmer.

Show the above timeline to Richmond and it shouldn’t be hard to convince him that he could look quite good in the No. 77 instead.

After all, USC needs another (official) all-conference selection in the jersey before the decade is up to keep the streak alive. Richmond could get it done.

Stats to know: 77

  • Running back Ricky Bell was USC’s 77th All-American selection in 1976.
  • In his 1927 All-American season at quarterback, “The Noblest Trojan of Them All” Morley Drury had just 77 yards passing, completing 8-of-19 attempts.
  • Safety Dennis Thurman garnered unanimous All-American acclaim with 77 tackles in 1977, his senior season.
  • Adoree’ Jackson’s career-long punt return was 77 yards against Utah State in 2016.
  • From 1957 through 2012, the Playboy preseason All-American team was one of the most prestigious. USC had 77 selections in that span, well ahead of all other programs. Texas had 52 in second place.
  • Safety Dennis Smith led USC with seven interceptions for 77 yards in 1978.
  • There have been two Trojans selected with the 77th pick overall in the NFL Draft: End Paul Cleary to the Lions in 1948 and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey to the Titans in 2011.

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