USC football’s most dominant defenders of all-time, ranked

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USC football defensive lineman Leonard Williams. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

USC football has had more than a fair share of renowned defensive players.

USC football is often linked with Hollywood and flash, but the key to Trojan dominance over the years has always been the presence of gritty, tough and powerful defenders.

Few schools come close to matching the Trojans when it comes to producing top-quality safeties, while USC’s linebacker tradition speaks for itself.

Here’s a look at the most dominant Trojan defensive players of all-time:

USC football’s No. 25 dominant defender: George Achica

Nose guard might be the least exciting position on the defensive side of the ball, making it hard for the big men in the middle to get the recognition they deserve.

But an elite nose guard can certainly make their presence felt in a big way, and that’s what George Achica did through his Trojan career.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound NorCal-product was a three-time All-Pac-10 first-team player and finished his run as a consensus All-American and the Pac-12 Morris Trophy winner in 1982.

How dominant was Achica? He had 302 career tackles, including 120 tackles in 1981—an outrageous total for a defensive lineman. He also batted down four passes.

That year, he etched his name in the annals of USC rivalry history by blocking UCLA’s game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds, spoiling the Bruins’ chances of making the Rose Bowl.

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