Trojans have legacy behind current uniform numbers

LOS ANGELES -- As you've probably read or heard about, jersey numbers and the assigning of jersey numbers can affect a player's state of mind, comfort level, and sometimes stress level to live up to the number's glorious past.

As it pertains to the 2015 USC Trojans, the reality is that with the exception of the already retired Trojans numbers, every jersey number worn by a player can be traced back to a former player of some significance -- offense and/or defense.

Here are the 2015 Trojans starters or co-starters on the first depth chart heading into fall practice, and the legacy jersey numbers they wear either knowingly or unknowingly.



No. 6 Cody Kessler

Legacy No. 6: 2004 All-America linebacker Matt Grootegoed (2001-04) and All-America safety Tim McDonald (1983-86). Kessler will need to be as tough as these two All-Americans with all the scrutiny he'll be getting in his Heisman Trophy run.


No. 31 Soma Vainuku or No. 38 Jahleel Penner

Legacy No. 31: 2010 All-Pac-10 honorable mention fullback Stanley Havili (2006-10) and 1964 All-AAWU defensive back Gary Hill (1962-64). The big difference between these two current fullbacks and Havili is that Stanley played in a fullback friendly offense (USC's all-time career leader in full back receptions).

Legacy No. 38: Fullback Danny Scott (1966-68), a little remembered but tough, small starting fullback who was the lead blocker during the O.J. Simpson era.


No. 22 Justin Davis or No. 23 Tre Madden

Legacy No. 22: 1973 consensus All-America wide receiver Lynn Swann (1971-73), a member of the College and NFL Hall of Fame.

Legacy No. 23: Running back Chauncey Washington (2003, 2006-07), a workhorse running back during the Pete Carroll era.

Wide Receivers

No. 1: Darreus Rogers

Legacy No. 1: 2003 All-America receiver Mike Williams (2002-03). Big Mike, 6-foot-5, 230-piunds, reset the standards for big receivers at USC.

No. 7: Steven Mitchell

Legacy No. 7: 1988 and unanimous 1989 All-America safety and Thorpe Award winner Mark Carrier (1987-89). Now this No. 7 matchup would have been a classic confrontation in practice.

No. 9 JuJu Smith

Legacy No. 9: Unanimous 2012 All-America receiver and Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee (2011-13). Is it possible that at some point JuJu could follow Marqise in winning the Trojans second Biletnifkoff Award?

Tight end

No. 88: Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick

Legacy No. 88: 1967 All-American defensive end Tim Rossovich (1965-67). Rossovich was one of the meanest, toughest, and most intimidating players in USC annals.

Right tackle

No. 73: Zack Banner

Legacy No. 73: How about two All-America offensive linemen from Merced, California? Right guard Elmer Willhoite (1950-52), a consensus 1952 All-America right guard and center Tony Slaton (1981-83), a 1983 All-American, who was also a three-time, first-team All-Pac-10 selection.

Right Guard

No. 60 Viane Talmaivao

Legacy No. 60: 1977 All-America linebacker Clay Mathews Jr. (1974-77). Viane and Clay Jr. have one thing in common -- both continue to be extremely dedicated to football.


No. 75: Max Tuerk

Legacy No. 75: 2011 All-America offensive tackle Matt Kalil (2009-11). There is a difference between a center and a tackle, but both play with that “nasty” edge, a quality they brought from their respective Orange County (Calif.) parochial high school Trinity League rivalry (Santa Margarita Catholic and Anaheim Servite).

Left guard

No. 50: Toa Lobendahn or No. 51: Damien Mama

Legacy No. 50: 1967 consensus inside All-America linebacker Adrian Young (1965-67). Young once intercepted four passes at Notre Dame in 1967 to help upset the Irish 24-7.

Legacy No. 51: 1981 All-America linebacker Chip Banks (1978-81). Banks (Atlanta, Georgia) was as violent on the field as they come. Mama had the opposite demeanor -- soft-spoken, mild in nature but very competitive.

Left tackle

No. 50: Toa Lobendahn or No. 72 Chad Wheeler

Legacy No. 50: See left guard

Legacy No. 72: 1982 unanimous All-America offensive tackle Don Mosebar (1979-82), who played with a mean streak and in 1969, and All-America defensive tackle Al Cowlings (1968-69), an original starter on the famous Wild Bunch D-line.


Defensive line

No. 52: Delvon Simmons

Legacy No. 52: 1984 consensus All-America linebacker Jack Del Rio (1981-84). Del Rio, now the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, could be Simmons' pro coach if Delvon has a great senior season.

No. 90: Claude Pelon

Legacy No. 90: Two-time All-Pac-10 defensive tackle Dan Owens (1986-89). Pelon would be well served to watch film on Owens, who had a non-stop motor and an aggressiveness to match.

No. 99: Antwaun Woods

Legacy No. 99: Woods, relatively built short and wide like 2004 All-America nose tackle Mike Patterson (2001-04), hopes he can consistently command double-team blocks as did Patterson in his brilliant Trojans career.

Outside linebackers

No. 21: Su'a Cravens

Legacy No. 21: Running back LenDale White (2003-05). Now wouldn't this have been a jolting confrontation in practice? The power of LenDale and the speed, quickness, and strength of Cravens, a powerful running back in high school.

No. 47: Scott Felix

Legacy No. 47: Fabled walk-on Clay Matthews lll (2005-08). Felix changed his last name from Starr to Felix while Matthews changed his status from USC walk-on to NFL great with the Green Bay Packers.

Inside linebackers

No. 55 Lamar Dawson

Legacy No. 55: 1989 All-American Junior Seau (1988-89), two-time All-Pac-10 Willie McGinest (1990-93), 1998 consensus All-American Chris Claiborne (1996-98). Do we still have to explain the significance of wearing No. 55?

No. 56 Anthony Sarao

Legacy No. 56: 1979 All-America linebacker Dennis Johnson (1977-79). Both Sarao and Johnson arrived at USC from out of state. Anthony, a native of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, while Dennis, a product of athletically respected Flint, Michigan.


No. 2; Adoree' Jackson

Legacy No. 2: 2006 All-America wide receivers Steve Smith (2003-06) and Robert Woods (2010-12), All-America safety Taylor Mays (2006-09) and All-America quarterback Morley Drury (1925-27). In terms of dominance, will Adoree' find it as a receiver or as a corner?

No. 13: Kevon Seymour

Legacy No. 13: 1933 All-America quarterback Irvine “Cotton” Warburton (1932-34). While both are from different positions, there is one thing that Kevon would like to have that Cotton already has - a national championship.


No. 4: Chris Hawkins or No. 22 Leon McQuay lll

Legacy No. 4: Two-time All-Pac-10 safety Kevin Ellison (2005-08). While Hawkins plays in a system that coaches say has two equal safety positions, Chris could learn how Ellison applied his craft in a very physical manner as a strong safety.

Legacy No. 22: 1973 consensus All-America wide receiver Lynn Swann (1971-73). Maybe old No. 22 could spend some time with the present No. 22 and give him some insider info on how best to cover a player of Swann's legendary ability.

No. 24: John Plattenburg

Legacy No. 24: 1930 All-America quarterback Orville Mohler (1930-32). Moehler, the former Alhambra (Calif.) High Moors standout, led his team two national championships (1931-32). Plattenburg, a sophomore, would love to have one in the new College Football Playoff system.