Best NFL careers in USC football history

USC has had a lot of great players go through their program and went on to have even better NFL careers.
Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
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USC football has produced a lot of talent for the NFL. They lead college football with the most former players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 14. There are names like Marcus Allen, Ronnite Lott, Lynn Swann and many other that had successful careers in college and continued that success at the next level.

With so many players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it is hard to pick only 10 for the greatest NFL careers, and honestly, there is a name or two on this list that is not in that prestigious group, but probably could one day.

O.J. Simpson

Obviously O.J. Simpson had a great NFL career, there is no denying that fact. He was a Pro-Bowler, a First-Team All-Pro, an MVP, and one of the greatest offensive players, especially in Buffalo. However, due to his off-the-field issues, he will not be on this list, but we couldn't talk about USC greats and NFL greats without at least mentioning Simpson and his time in the NFL.

It was a challenging list to make with all the talent that has come out of the historic program, but here are the 10 players that had the best NFL careers in USC football history.

USC NFL. 2004-2008. player. 49. Clay Matthews. . 10. . Linebacker. Clay Matthews

Son of NFL great and Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee Clay Matthews Jr. otherwise known as Bruce Matthews, Clay Matthews III went from a walk-on at USC to being a first-round NFL draft pick. Matthews was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and would become a problem for every offense he faced.

In his first season, Matthews came in third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting and was selected to the Pro Bowl. He put up impressive numbers with 51 total tackles, 10 sacks, three fumble recoveries returning one for a touchdown, one forced fumble, 17 tackles for loss, and 21 QB hits. Going forward, Matthews would continue to impress with his ability to move on the field and speed to get to the quarterback.

Matthews eclipsed 13.5 sacks in his second year and 13 sacks in his fourth year. He was constantly knocking the ball out of players' hands forcing fumbles with a career-high three in his third season. Matthews was also voted to the Pro Bowl six times as a Green Bay Packer and was a First-Team All-Pro selection and a Second-Team All-Pro selection. After 10 years with the Packers, Matthews signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 before he chose to retire.

Matthews is the Packers' all-time official sack leader with 83.5 sacks in his 10-year career in Green Bay. After two seasons of no football, Matthews officially announced his retirement in September 2022. He now much wait at least five years before he is put on a ballot for the Hall of Fame.