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USC Trojans All-Time Lists

Ranking USC football's best NFL stars of all-time

Former USC football safety Troy Polamalu with the Steelers.
Former USC football safety Troy Polamalu with the Steelers. / Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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USC football is rightly known as a football factory. The best in the business, in fact.

Of all the Trojans who have gone pro, who plied their craft the best?

We've set out to rank the 10 best in Projan (yes, pro-Trojan) history.

By necessity, a few Pro Football Hall of Famers had to miss the cut. Those include Frank Gifford, Lynn Swann and Red Badgro. Gifford was a four-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler. Swann is know for his iconic performances in big games. Badgro was a two-way star in the 1930s.

10. Ron Mix

Former USC football lineman Ron Mix with the Chargers.
Former USC football lineman Ron Mix with the Chargers. / James Flores/Getty Images

It's a bit harder to judge careers in the 1960s because the AFL and NFL split the talent pool of pro football players. Since the AFL was the less established of the two leagues, the fact that Ron Mix played on that side of the divide could hurt his overall standing. Except he was really, really great.

Mix chose to play for the Chargers in 1960 and garnered a reputation for his aggression and intelligence. He was nicknamed "The Intellectual Assassin."

As a rookie, he was named to the All-AFL first team. He would go on to repeat that feat each year for the next nine seasons. He had a Pro Bowl streak from 1961 to 1968 as well.

By Mix's count, he allowed less than five sacks in the 142 games he played as a pro. He had just two penalties called against him over that period.

In 1963, Mix helped the Chargers win the AFL Championship. He made four additional AFL Championship appearances with the team.

Since he came out of retirement to play a season with the Raiders post-merger, he counts as an NFL player.

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