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#USCtotheNFL Profile: 1975 and 1977 Draft Classes

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In its storied history, USC Football has had more players selected in the NFL Draft (496) than any other school can claim. As the 2017 NFL Draft approaches, we took a look back at some of our draft stories.

Among USC's litany of Draft facts, it's difficult to single out just one as the most impressive. USC boasts more all-time Draft picks than any other school, more first-round Draft picks than any other school, is tied for the most No. 1 overall Draft picks of any school and is one of two schools to have a player drafted every year since 1939.

In addition, USC boasts two of the largest Draft classes of all time. In 1975, USC set a record when 14 players heard their names called at the NFL Draft. Just two years later, the Trojans did it again. Since then, only one school has ever had more players selected in a single Draft: Texas, with 17 in 1981.

In 1975, the NFL plucked 14 Trojans who had a record of success. In 1974, the soon-to-be-drafted Trojans led their team to a 10-1-1 record, a Rose Bowl title and a Coaches' Poll national championship. Before that, the 1972 squad went undefeated, won a Rose Bowl and was unanimously named national champs.

RB Anthony Davis (Round 2, No. 37 overall, New York Jets) was the first Trojan off the board in 1975, after putting himself on the map with two incredible performances against Notre Dame. In 1972, Davis set a school record with six touchdowns against the Irish, and in 1974, he catalyzed "The Comeback," scoring four times to help USC overcome a 24-0 deficit to win, 55-24. The LA Times dubbed Davis "the greatest college player never to win the Heisman Trophy" after he finished second to Archie Griffin in 1974.

Haden.jpgDespite being the first Trojan off the board that year, Davis was not the first to sign an NFL contract. He spurned the Jets -- and the MLB's Minnesota Twins, who also drafted him that year -- to sign with the World Football League's Southern California Sun. He became the league's leading rusher before it folded and forced him to move on to the Canadian Football League, then the NFL in 1976.

After Davis, DB Charlie Phillips and G Bill Bain were drafted, going on to have traditional NFL careers. Bain played in Super Bowl XIV in 1980, falling to current USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann.

DT Art Riley rounded out USC's second-round selections that year, but he never played a down of NFL football.

The Jets made LB Richard Wood USC's fifth draftee in 1975. After struggling his rookie year, Wood signed with the Buccaneers in the 1976 expansion draft. To this day, Wood ranks sixth in Bucs history in tackles.

After Wood, RB Allen Carter and TE Jim Obradovich became the sixth and seventh Trojans taken. QB Pat Haden was next.

The Los Angeles Rams selected Haden (pictured) in the seventh round (No. 176 overall), but he chose to join Davis on the WFL's Southern California Sun instead. He played 10 games for the Sun before heading off to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship in October of 1975. Upon his return, he signed with the Rams, leading them to three NFC West titles during his six-year career, while also pursuing a second bachelor's degree at Oxford.

DT Otha Bradley was selected in Round 10, and DB Marvin Cobb, who also played baseball alongside Davis at USC, was drafted in the 11th. LB Dale Mitchell went in the 13th, marking 11 Trojans taken. When OT Steve Knutson was taken in Round 16, USC tied the previous record for most players drafted from a school in a single year, with 12. UCLA had set it just one year before.

The Trojans broke the tie when WR Johnny McKay -- the son of legendary USC head coach John McKay -- was drafted. They added one more for good measure in C Bob McCaffrey, marking a record 14 players drafted.

After producing four more draft selections in 1976, USC hit the jackpot again when 14 more players were taken in 1977, including three first rounders. The Buccaneers, now coached by former USC head coach McKay, made RB Ricky Bell the third No. 1 overall pick in school history. The future College Football Hall of Famer had a short career, though, retiring after six seasons due to health issues. Bell (pictured) tragically passed away at the age of 29 of heart failure.

Ricky Bell.jpgMarvin Powell, the fourth pick of the 1977 Draft, was lucky enough to have a long, successful NFL career. The tackle made six straight Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams during nine seasons with the Jets. He also served as president of the NFL Players' Association, interned at the New York Stock Exchange and earned a law degree from NYU before heading to Tampa Bay for two seasons.

Just minutes after Powell was drafted, his teammate Gary Jeter found out he'd be following him across the country when the Giants drafted him fifth overall. He turned an All-Rookie season into a 13-year career, and passed away last year at the age of 61.

In the second round, the Buccaneers added another Trojan in LB Dave Lewis, who made a Pro Bowl in the third year of his seven-year career. After those four players were drafted, it went quiet at Troy for two full rounds.

WR Shelton Diggs broke the silence when the Falcons took him in the fifth round, but he played just one season in Atlanta before leaving the NFL to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Ten picks later, the Rams took USC G Donnie Hickman, and 10 picks after that, the Bears took QB Vince Evans. For the second time in the '77 draft, Trojans went back-to-back, as DB Mike Burns was selected immediately after Evans.

Five more Trojans (WR Kenny Randle, DB Ron Bush, LB Eric Williams, DB Clint Strozier and RB Dave Farmer) were selected before perhaps the gem of the 1977 Draft: Rod Martin.

Martin, a linebacker, was drafted in the 12th round (No. 317 overall) by the Raiders. He became an All-Pro, a two-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion wearing silver and black. Martin stepped up to the plate in his two Super Bowl appearances, collecting three interceptions in SB XV and racking up a sack and fumble recovery in SB XVIII.

Though USC's Draft dominance spiked in 1975 and '77, it's been churning out a steady stream of NFL stars since the mid-1930s. Forty years after the impressive '77 Draft, USC's current NFL hopefuls are gearing up to learn their fate at the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia. The Draft begins on Thursday.

Coming Sooner

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USC men's basketball will play Oklahoma in a marquee non-conference matchup at STAPLES Center on December 8 as part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.

Click here for the official release.

The Trojans played in the same event last season, defeating BYU. The game is half of a doubleheader with Arizona State and St. John's squaring off on the same day.

While USC is coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including two wins in the Big Dance this March, Oklahoma spent last season rebuilding after a Final Four run in 2016. The Sooners had one of the youngest teams in the nation last season, but they are expected to be Big 12 contenders in the coming year.

USC last played Oklahoma in 2009, falling in Norman by a point after beating Blake Griffin and the Sooners the previous season at the Galen Center, 66-55. Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 6-5, over the Trojans.

The full non-conference schedule has yet to be released, but the Trojans have beefed it up with Oklahoma joining SMU and Texas A&M as major conference opponents. USC is also entered in the Diamond Head Classic, which features a top field, including ACC power Miami.

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Powerful Pair

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USC beach volleyball seniors Sophie Bukovec and Allie Wheeler went 5-0 together last week to ear Pac-12 Pair of the Week honors.

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Bukovec and Wheeler didn't drop a single set this week, helping the Trojans finish the regular season a perfect 30-0. The pair only started playing together at the beginning of this season, as Bukovec previously partnered with Trojan alum Alexa Strange and Wheeler played with fellow senior Nicolette Martin. They're 17-5 overall on the season, playing primarily on USC's No. 2 Court.

Bukovec and Wheeler are the fourth different USC pair to win Pac-12 Pair of the Week this season, and the fifth overall.

The Trojans have dominated the Pac-12, going 8-0 in conference and locking up the top seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Championship, which begins Thursday in Tucson, AZ.

Drexel Does It

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For her dominance in USC women's lacrosse's two wins this weekend, Trojan senior Kylie Drexel was named the MPSF Offensive Player of the Week.

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Drexel netted nine goals and added five assists, four ground balls and five draw controls in USC's wins over Stanford and UC Davis, helping the Trojans finish the regular season undefeated in conference play.

With a hat trick in each game, Drexel moved into fourth all-time on USC's hat trick list, with 15 in her career.

She is USC's second-leading scorer this season, with 33 goals, and ranks second in assists (19) as well.

The Trojans have now won five of the past six MPSF Offensive Player of the Week awards this season. They head into the upcoming conference tournament at McAlister Field as the top seed, having won their last 18 MPSF contests.

Click here for information on the 2017 MPSF Lacrosse Championships!

Congrats @kdrexxx11 on your third-career MPSF weekly award! #FightOn ✌🏻👊🏻

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2017 Clay Helton Camps

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Rose Bowl champion head coach Clay Helton along with his coaching staff, current players and guest coaches from other NCAA Division I teams will hold five USC football summer camps this June.

All of the football camps are open to any and all entrants and positions (limited only by number, age and/or grade level) and are hosted at the USC football facilities, including Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Fields, the John McKay Center and Heritage Hall.

There will be two sessions of the Rising Stars Camp, open to players of all positions entering grades 9 through 12. Session I will be held on June 11 and Session II will be on June 25.

The USC Specialists Camp on June 24 is open to players of all positions, but will focus primarily on instruction to kickers, punters and long snappers entering grades 9 through 12.

There also will be a "Trojans In Training" Camp, for players entering grades 3 through 8, on June 10.

The USC 7-On-7 Tournament is open to any and all teams composed of players entering grades 9 through 12. It will be held on June 17.

For more information and to register online, go to Fightoncamps.com.

To register a team for the USC 7-On-7 Tournament, click here to email the USC Football Office.

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#USCtotheNFL Profile: Gil Kuhn

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In its storied history, USC Football has had more players selected in the NFL Draft (496) than any other school can claim. As the 2017 NFL Draft approaches, we took a look back at some of our draft stories.

GIL KUHN crop.jpgOn December 12, 1936, Gil Kuhn became the first Trojan football player ever selected in the NFL Draft. The Brooklyn Dodgers chose Kuhn in the 10th Round (93rd overall) of the second-ever draft, held at the Hotel Lincoln in New York City.

The Placentia, CA native had bolstered USC's offensive line from 1934-36, serving as the team captain during his final season under legendary head coach Howard Jones. The Los Angeles Times dubbed him "one of the greatest leaders the Trojans have ever had."

Kuhn's impressive career at USC earned him invitations to the 1937 East-West Shrine Game and the 1937 College All-Star Game in Chicago. During the All-Star Game, Kuhn snapped the ball to future Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Sammy Baugh as the collegiate squad became the first All-Stars to beat a professional team (the Green Bay Packers). Ultimately, Kuhn was named to the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-America team of 1936.

Despite his on-field success, football was just a fraction of Kuhn's identity. In typical Los Angeles fashion, he also dabbled in performing. He sang in operettas and acted in films such as Rose Bowl, Pig Skin Parade and Varsity Show, combining his passions by playing the part of an athlete. He spoke Spanish fluently, making him a hot commodity in the film industry. Kuhn played rugby in addition to football and got his degree in Education, hoping to possibly become a teacher or go on to law school.

So when Kuhn was given the opportunity to pursue a professional football career, the decision wasn't as easy as it is for today's prospects. Ultimately, Kuhn decided to turn down the five-year contract he was offered by the Dodgers to pursue a number of different professional ventures. He never played a down of NFL football.

Instead, Kuhn remained on the Hollywood scene, serving as a technical director and assistant on a number of films. At 23, he founded his own advertising agency, called Gil Kuhn Co., and then became the head football coach at Glendale (Calif.) Junior College.

But then, like so many young men across the nation, his life was given new purpose when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1940. After flying in more than 40 missions across Germany, Kuhn rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross.

Upon his return to the States, Kuhn settled down in San Diego and made his way back into the business sector with a job at Marine Products Company, where he worked his way up to VP of Sales. He used what he learned there to found his own company, Ocean Garden Products, in 1957, helping it become the world's largest shrimp-importing firm at the time. Using his military experience, Kuhn flew his own plane between OGP's plants. The company still exists today, operating in San Diego and Anaheim.

All the while, football continued to play a big part in his life. The first Trojan football player ever drafted became the first-ever head football coach at University of San Diego in 1956, guiding the rookie program to a 2-3 record. He also served as USD's athletic director in his one year at the helm, before stepping away to fully focus on his business. Despite just one year at USD, Kuhn's legacy lived on in the form of the "Gil Kuhn Award," given to the USD football player who best demonstrated sportsmanship, performance to the highest degree, and leadership each year until 1961, after which the football program was temporarily dropped.

After a long, adventurous life, Kuhn died in 2006. He was 91.

Coliseum Renovation Update

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USC head coach Clay Helton and athletic director Lynn Swann have a special message for the Trojan Family updating the Coliseum renovation project.


Sterling Smith

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After clinching USC women's tennis' 4-3 victory over UCLA this weekend, junior Gabby Smith earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

Click here for the full release!

It's the third such honor this season for the Henderson, NV native -- more than any other player in the Pac-12 can claim. Smith, who's ranked No. 20 in the nation, has posted an undefeated record at the No. 2 spot and a 13-6 record overall in this year's dual meet action.

On the heels of their victory over UCLA, the Women of Troy are preparing for the Pac-12 Team Championships in Ojai, CA this week. USC faces Washington State in the first round on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Defend The Land

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USC women's golf looks to defend its 2016 title at the Pac-12 Championships in Tucson, AZ this week.

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The Women of Troy, who have won three events this season, boast a strong history at the conference championships, having finished in the Top 3 10 times in the last 12 seasons.

Last year, the Trojans won by posting a Pac-12 three-round record of 18-under 846 (278-275-293). After leading by 13 after two rounds, they fended off comeback efforts by UCLA and ASU to earn a three-stroke victory.

After today's first round at the Sewailo G.C., the 10th-ranked Women of Troy sit in fourth place, behind No. 3 UCLA, No. 2 Stanford and No. 21 Colorado.

Check out USC Women's Golf on Twitter and Instagram to follow the pursuit of the program's seventh conference title!

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Battle Of The Best

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USC women's water polo dropped its regular season finale at UCLA this weekend, locking in the No. 3 seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament.

Click here for the game recap!

The No. 2 Trojans and No. 1 Bruins traded scores to open up the game, before UCLA added another to finish the first period up 3-2. The Bruins came on strong in the second period, shutting USC out to increase their lead at halftime.

Trailing 6-2 at the break, the Trojans made adjustments to outscore UCLA in the third period and pull within two. But the Bruins pulled away at the end, earning an 11-7 victory.

Stephania Haralabidis, Brigitta Games and Maud Megens all scored two goals apiece for the Trojans, and Hayley McKelvey added the other. Amanda Longan racked up 10 saves.

With the loss, the Women of Troy finished the regular season 26-2 (4-2 MPSF) and earned the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, behind UCLA and Stanford -- the only two teams to beat them this year.

USC will face San Jose State in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday at 12:45 p.m. in Westwood.

Check out USC team photographer John McGillen's photos of Saturday's match: