USC Trojans All-Time Lists

Ranking USC football’s most iconic jersey numbers

May 2, 2020, 2:44 AM PDT
Chris Claiborne and other Trojan greats have elevated jersey numbers at USC.
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Chris Claiborne and other Trojan greats have elevated jersey numbers at USC.

USC football’s most iconic jersey numbers have been worn by the best of the best.

A program with as much history and tradition as USC football inevitably produces a whole lot of iconic jersey numbers.

Different Trojans have won Heismans and national awards like the Butkus and Biletnikoff while sporting numbers that have been burned into the memories of fans forever.

But which numbers stand out the most?

To put together this ranking of the most iconic Trojan jersey numbers in history, we factored in a few things. Each number had to have a certain level of recognizability, whether from a single great or a series of success stories. Achievements in the jersey mattered, from All-American representation to a pile of trophies. Finally, the numbers should have a legacy that remains to this day.

Honorable Mentions

A ranking like this isn’t kind to offensive linemen, which is a shame for the outstanding big men USC has produced over the years.

The No. 71 is one of just four jerseys with five All-Americans on its record, including John Ferraro, Brade Budde, Tony Boselli, Duece Lutui and Charles Brown.

The No. 66 also warrants a mention as the number of Bill Bail, Pat Howell, Bruce Matthews and Dave Cadigan.

In another era, No. 16 would have been a no-brainer having produced Brice Taylor, USC’s first-ever All-American, Frank Gifford, Paul McDonald and Rodney Peete.

No. 32 held Jim Sears and O.J. Simpson. No. 33 housed Marcus Allen. No. 11 was donned by Francis Taapaan and Matt Leinart. No. 12 featured Charles White. All are now retired as Heisman-winning jerseys.

But retirement and Heismans aren’t the only factors in determining the best of the best in cardinal and gold.

So without further ado, here are USC’s five most iconic jersey numbers…