67 days to USC football: Ryan Kalil was the Trojans’ quarterback at center

RoT Countdown / Photo by Kirby Lee/WireImage via Getty Images (Reign of Troy)
RoT Countdown / Photo by Kirby Lee/WireImage via Getty Images (Reign of Troy) /

USC football relied on No. 67 Ryan Kalil to be the second quarterback at center for some of the greatest offenses in Trojan history.

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The 2019 USC football season is now only 67 days away.

That means it is time to look at the No. 67 jersey, which is best known for anchoring the Trojan offensive line earlier this century.

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Here’s a look at the number, its history and more:

Who wore it best?

When it comes to the No. 67, it doesn’t get better than Ryan Kalil, Pete Carroll’s outstanding center.

From 2004 to 2006, Kalil anchored USC’s national-title and Rose Bowl-winning squad.

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“He’s like the cog in the whole thing,” Carroll told the Los Angeles Times in 2006.

“He’s like a second quarterback out there,” said offensive line coach pat Ruel. “Ryan’s the one that’s pulled everything together. He’s our focal point.”

Kalil was a three-star recruit coming out of Servite in the class of 2003. It was far from a sure thing that he would take over for Norm Katnik upon his graduation after that season. The Trojans landed five-star recruit Jeff Byers, the No. 1 center in the country, in the class of 2004 and expected him to compete for the open starting job.

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Instead, Kalil put a stranglehold on the top spot on the depth chart for the next three years, winning a national title and a Rose Bowl.

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He won USC’s Courage Award in 2004. In 2005 he added the Bob Chandler Award as the underclassman with the best athletic ability, academic achievement and character on the team. In 2006, he was voted the Trojans Most Inspirational Player.

By his senior season, the conference honored him with the Morris Trophy as the league’s top offensive lineman while his name was added to the pantheon of Trojan All-Americans.

Who wears it now?

Walk-on center Mark Zuvich will wear the No. 67 for the second season in 2018 after redshirting last year.

He was an All-Sea View League first teamer at Laguna Hills High School. However, with Brett Neilon and Justin Dedich ahead of him, plus the possibility of training the likes of Andrew Vorhees and others at center in a pinch, it seems unlikely he’ll see the field at USC.

Stats to know: 67

  • Offensive tackle Booker Brown was USC’s 67th All-American in 1973.
  • With 67 punt returns for 679 yards and two touchdown, Curtis Conway ranks third on USC’s all-time punt return list.
  • With 67 kick returns for 1,522 yards and one touchdown, Reggie Bush ranks third on USC’s all-time kick return list. He trails No. 2 Curtis Conway.
  • The second-longest catch of wide receiver Steve Smith’s career was 67 yards in 2005.
  • Safety T.J. McDonald picked up All-American honors in 2011 with 67 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a blocked punt, and three interceptions.
  • Two-way star C.R. Roberts led USC in tackles in 1956. That year he also made a statement against racism when the Trojans traveled to play Texas in Austin.
  • Don Doll was selected in the 1948 NFL Draft by the Lions with the 67th pick overall. He is the only Trojan to be picked in that spot.

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