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History shows playing for Trojans can be family affair

LOS ANGELES -- As you are probably aware, the Trojans recently received a verbal commitment from wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and are now waiting patiently regarding the possibility of his sophomore brother, former Florida tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe, joining the team.

The prospect of the Imatorbhebhe brothers being Trojans wouldn’t be the first combination of siblings on a USC roster. In fact, you’d be wise to chart two categories of Trojans brothers: Those who have played together and those who have played in separate seasons.

Let’s first take a look at some of the brothers who have had the unique opportunity of playing together as Trojans.

Jim and Don Hardy: Quarterback Jim (1942-44) was a 1944 All-Pacific Coast Conference quarterback and 1945 Rose Bowl MVP who later played with the Los Angeles Rams. Don (1943,44,46) was a 1944 All-Pacific Coast Conference left end who was eventually taken in the 1947 NFL draft pick by the Rams.

Jon and Bob Arnett: "Jaguar Jon" (1954-56) might have been as good a breakaway running back as USC has ever produced. Finishing 10th in the Heisman voting in 1956, Jon was named the 1956 Pop Warner Award winner for being the most valuable senior on the West Coast. Bob (1954-56) followed in the footsteps of his famous older brother, not only as a running back but an accomplished track performer.

Marlin and Mike McKeever: So how often do you get two brothers who are both eventually named All-Americans during the same time frame (1958-60)? Right end/fullback Marlin was a two-time All-American (1959-60) and left guard Mike was a 1959 All-American. Both played in the NFL and the twins were both 1995 USC Hall of Fame inductees.

Manfred, Kenny, and Malcolm Moore: Although fullback Manfred (1971-73), a productive runner/blocker on the 1972 national champion, did not play with Kenny (1978-80) and Malcolm (1980-81, 83), he started the cardinal and gold chain. Kenny was a safety for the Trojans after an extremely successful quarterback prep career at San Fernando (Calif.) High. Wide receiver Malcolm, who played briefly with Kenny, finished his Trojans career with 37 receptions for 598 yards and two touchdowns.

Don and Craig Gibson: Defensive lineman Don (1987-90) was named All-Pac-10 in 1990. Brother Craig (1990-93) was a respected center and will be remembered by Trojans fans from the 1990 Notre Dame game when he held his own against Irish All-America nose tackle Chris Zorich.

Norm and Kurt Katnik: Center Norm (2001-2003) became a linchpin along the Trojans' offensive line and was named All-Conference in 2003, helping lead the team to a 2003 national championship under Pete Carroll. Tight end Kurt (2002-04) saw limited action in an abbreviated USC career.

Brandon and Ryan Ting: The identical twins (2003-06) were forced to play gallantly, although outmatched physically by Trojans opponents. Brandon was a backup free safety and Ryan played as a cornerback in the 2006 Rose Bowl game for the BCS National Championship against Texas, recording two tackles in the painful 41-38 loss to the Longhorns.

Now lets’ take a look at brothers who did not play together, but still wore the cardinal and gold at different times.

Jerry and Bill Hayhoe: Jerry (1964, 1966) was an offensive tackle and Bill (1967-68) was a defensive end. Jerry was 6-foot-4 and 243 pounds support player for legendary coach John McKay. Bill, a 6-foot-8 and 258-pounder, will always be remembered in the 1967 USC/UCLA classic when he twice blocked field goal attempts by UCLA sophomore kicker Zenon Andrusyshyn to help preserve the 21-20 victory against the Bruins.

Ron and Wayne Yary: Both offensive linemen, tackle Ron (1965-67) became the Trojans' only Outland Trophy winner (1967), a two-time All-American, and an NFL and College Football Hall of Famer. Younger brother and offensive guard Wayne (1969-70) was a strong contributor to two Rose Bowl teams.

John and Chris Vella: Offensive tackle John (1969-71) became a 1971 All-American and Trojans co-captain his senior season. Tight end Chris (1971-72) was a member of the Trojans' 1972 national champion, considered by many the greatest college football team of all-time.

Jim and Steve O'Bradovich: Tight end Jim (1973-74) was a 1974 All-Pac-8 selection and is remembered for his 8-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter against Woody Hayes' Ohio State Buckeyes in the Trojans' thrilling 18-17 comeback victory. Receiver Steve (1975-76) was a member of the 1975 and 1976 football teams. The 1976 team defeated Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Clay and Bruce Matthews: Linebacker Clay (1974-77) developed into a 1977 All-American, a team captain in 1977, and a member of the USC Hall of Fame. Offensive guard Bruce (1980-82) was a 1982 consensus All-American, a two-time All-Conference selection, and a member of the NFL and USC Hall of Fames.

Dennis and Junior Thurman: Dennis (1974-77) was a two-time All-American, consensus in 1976 and unanimous in 1977, and has been recently nominated for the College Football Hall of Fame. Junior was a defensive back in 1985-86 and eventually played in the NFL (New Orleans) and Canada (Calgary and Birmingham).

Timmy and Lonnie White: Both from South Belmar, New Jersey, older brother Timmy (1980-82) caught 24 passes for 404 yards and two touchdowns his senior season. Lonnie (1985-86) was an accomplished receiver, but excelled in kickoff returns, returning 29 kickoffs for 716 yards in 1986, both USC season marks that stood until Robert Woods broke them in 2010. Sadly, Lonnie passed away in 2014 after a respected 21-year career as a sportswriter for The Los Angeles Times.

Ryan, Sammy, and Darryl Knight: Tailback Ryan (1984-87) led the Trojans in rushing (1985-86), safety Sammy (1993-96) was named All-Conference (1996), and linebacker Darryl (1998-2000) contributed in a backup role. The Knight family has played a prominent role in USC football lore.

Taso and Petros Papadakis: Fullback/linebacker Taso (1994-96) was physical player who was bit by injuries during a star-crossed career. Tailback Petros (1997,98, 2000), too, was hampered by injuries but was still able to score 16 touchdowns in his career and was named a team captain his senior season.

Kyle and Clay Matthews III: The next generation sons of All-American Clay II. Linebacker Clay III (2005-08) rose from a USC walk-on to NFL stardom as a linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Brother Kyle (2003), another walk-on, played briefly for the Trojans and went on to become an investment sales broker.

Alex and Khaled Holmes: A brotherly act that actually played on the same side of the ball. Tight end Alex (2000-2004) was an instrumental piece during the early rise of the Pete Carroll era and was part of two national championship teams (2003-04). Younger brother Khaled (2009-12), a center, achieved All-Pac-12 first team honors in 2012 and went on to the NFL.

Steve and Malcolm Smith: Wide receiver Steve (2003-2006) became a 2006 All-American and was a member of Carroll’s 2003 and 2004 national championship teams. Little brother and linebacker Malcolm (2007-10), who played in all 13 games as a true USC freshman, overcame health issues to finish his Trojans career in workmanlike fashion and eventually matriculated to the NFL where he became the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII.

Ryan and Matt Kalil: Both became All-Americans. Center Ryan (2003-06) was recognized as the nation’s best in 2006 and younger brother and tackle Matt was the fourth player taken in the 2012 NFL draft by Minnesota. Both are in the NFL heading into the 2015 season.

Derek and Kevin Graf: The sons of former rugged offensive guard Allan Graf (1970-72), a starter on USC’s 1972 national champion, offensive guard Derek (2002) will be remembered for his dominance in the 2003 Orange Bowl. Kevin was a three-time starting right tackle for the Trojans and a senior All-Pac-12 honorable mention.