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.
Despite 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.
Marvin 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.