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Revive the 35

by Garry Paskwietz

When Steve Sarkisian gave early enrollee freshman Cameron Smith the jersey number 35, the inside linebacker from Granite Bay, California had no idea there was a tradition at USC associated with the number.

Most observers of Trojan football can tell you all about the legacy associated with the number 55 – a tradition of linebacker play that includes Junior Seau, Willie McGinest and Chris Claiborne – but the significance of No. 35 at the position is not as well known.

From the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s there was a stretch of USC inside linebackers that were similar in style and intensity, a group of tough, hard-nosed players who approached the position the same way. It began with Riki Gray (now Ellison) from 1978-82, and continued with Rex Moore (1984-87), Scott Ross (1987-90) and Jeff Kopp (1991-94).

Click here to read the full story at the ESPN USC blog



Garry Paskwietz
Author
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.


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