The USC Trojans have one of the most storied football programs in the country starting with the first of 11 national championships in 1928. There have been many great players and coaches during this time.
During the 2011 NFL draft this weekend, nine USC players were picked which tied the North Carolina Tar Heels for the tops of any school.
USC has more NFL first round selections, 75, than any other college. The Trojans also took back the lead over Notre Dame (USC’s top rival) in all-time draft picks, 472 to 469, since the draft began in 1936.
Here is the list of the nine USC players selected:
- OT Tyron Smith (Dallas, 9th overall)
- DT Jurrell Casey (Tennessee, 77)
- CB Shareece Wright (San Diego, 89)
- TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland, 102)
- WR Ronald Johnson (San Francisco, 182)
- TB Allen Bradford (Tampa Bay, 187)
- FB Stanley Havili (Philadelphia, 240)
- WR David Ausberry (Oakland, 241)
- LB Malcolm Smith (Seattle, 242)
Notable Trojans not drafted include center Kristopher O’Dowd, OL Butch Lewis, QB Mitch Mustain, LB Michael Morgan and RB C.J. Gable. Kristopher O'Dowd will likely be picked up as free agent.
Sure they might not have all gone at the top of the draft, but USC's nine equals the total of Alabama (five) and Auburn (four). Miami was next with eight while Nebraska had seven. Ohio State had five and so did TCU. Stanford, Florida, and Oklahoma had four each.
The nine number is amazing when you realize that Oregon had one and Michigan and Michigan State two each, same as Penn State and Tennessee. Notre Dame had just one.
The NFL continued to pick so many USC players despite the fact that the team lost nine games in the past two years, the worst two seasons in the last decade.
Here is an excellent article written by Rick McMahan predicting how well these Trojans will do in the NFL.
USC also has the most NFL Hall of Famers with 11 (Junior Seau and Troy Polamalu will be the next two Trojans to be inducted):
- Frank Gifford, HB (1977)
- Ron Mix, OT (1979)
- Morris 'Red' Badgro, E (1981)
- O.J. Simpson, RB (1985)
- Willie Wood, DB (1989)
- Anthony Muñoz, OT (1998)
- Ronnie Lott, DB (2000)
- Lynn Swann, WR (2001)
- Ron Yary, OT (2001)
- Marcus Allen, RB (2003)
- Bruce Matthews, OT,OG,C (2007)
It is no wonder that so many great athletes who have NFL aspirations select USC, and the Trojans had another top five recruiting class this year despite the NCAA sanctions.
USC is the best football program if you want to play in the NFL.
P.S. As reader Michael Tierney pointed out, USC is tops in the nation in developing talent also.