2000: The solid, veteran McCaffrey, whose father played at USC in the early 1970s, will start for his third season at left offensive tackle as a senior in 2000. He had arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee after 2000 spring practice.
PAUL HACKETT SAYS: “Brent is a solid, steady, veteran lineman who should have a good senior year. He is one of the better pass protectors around.”
1999: McCaffrey started for his second season at left offensive tackle as a junior in 1999. Because of a sprained right ankle suffered at Arizona, he did not start against Notre Dame, Stanford or California, but he played in those games. He was a 1999 All-Pac-10 honorable mention pick. McCaffrey, who worked on his grandfather’s Fresno (Calif.) farm as a youngster, was named to the 1999 All-American Farm Team by Successful Farming magazine.
1998: McCaffrey started all of 1998 at left offensive tackle as a sophomore and did a very consistent job. After the season, he had arthroscopic surgery to remove cartilage from his right ankle.
1997: McCaffrey served as the backup to Ken Bowen at right offensive tackle as a redshirt freshman in 1997. He saw brief action against Stanford and Oregon State.
1996: McCaffrey redshirted at offensive tackle as a first-year freshman in 1996. He enrolled at USC in the spring of 1996 after sitting out the sport in 1995 following a fine prep career.
JUNIOR COLLEGE: McCaffrey attended Fresno (Calif.) City College as a part-time student in the fall of 1995, but did not play football.
HIGH SCHOOL: McCaffrey earned 1994 All-Fresno and All-Northwest Yosemite League honors as a senior 2-way lineman at Bullard High in Fresno. He also played in the Fresno City/County All-Star Game. He also played volleyball at Bullard. As a 1993 junior, he played offensive and defensive line at San Joaquin Memorial High in Fresno, where he also played basketball.
PERSONAL: He’s a planning and development major at USC with a B- average (2.82 GPA). His father, Bob, starred at center for USC in 1972 through 1974 and was honored as USC’s Lineman of the Year in 1974 and junior varsity MVP in 1971 (Troy played in 3 Rose Bowls during his career and won the national championship in 1972 and 1974). Bob played in the 1975 College All-Star Game and then spent 1975 with the Green Bay Packers. Brent’s uncle, Mike McCaffrey, was a 3-year (1966-68) letterman defensive end at California who co-captained the 1968 Golden Bear team and was a 2-time (1967-68) All-Pac-8 selection (he played with the Buffalo Bills in 1970). Brent’s mother, Karen, and an aunt and uncle also attended USC.
BRENT McCAFFREY ON:
Playing left tackle: “If you look back at USC’s history, we’ve had a lot of great left tackles. That’s important to me, to follow the tradition and become one of the best left tackles.”
His quickness: “One of my biggest assets is that I have good feet. I can make up for what I lack size-wise by getting in the way.”
Winning a starting job in 1998: “I was pretty low at the end of the 1997 season. My parents helped me out a lot, helped keep me motivated even when I was depressed about the lack of opportunities...For me, the coaching change (from John Robinson to Paul Hackett) was great. I wasn’t getting any opportunities before. This was a fresh start for me and I went into spring ball with a clean slate because nobody knew what I could do. I just wanted to do what I can to move up the charts...I remember talking to Mike Lamb (a former USC lineman and one-time USC radio analyst). He told me that in 1983 he was in the same position I was. There was a coaching change and the next thing he knew, he was starting...Going into that spring camp, I felt every job was open and I was going to bust my hump. I entered camp thinking, ‘Why not give 110 percent? What’s the worst that can happen? I make a mistake and I’m still second or third string? That’s not a big deal.’”
His decision to attend USC: “After watching USC’s 1991 season-opening upset loss to Memphis State, I made a vow I wanted to come here and my goal was to help re-establish our dominance...When a USC coach called me during my senior year in high school, I thought it was a practical joke. I had dreamed about playing here so long, I wasn’t going to pass it up...I was raised in a family that was all USC. It has been a dream of mine to come here and if I had to wait an extra semester to come here (while attending a junior college), I was willing to make that sacrifice...We sat down and talked, and my dad agreed that I should sit out a year. At the time, I was too small to be playing. There was no way I’d be able to play...When I first got here, it woke me up to what college football is all about. The intensity, the hitting, the body getting banged up. It was great for me. It gave me the extra maturity I needed physically and mentally, learning about life, being able to live without my parents helping me...Just like every other guy here, I came to this university for the pressure. I want to be the best and I want to get our football team back to the top of the nation, not just the Pac-10, but the nation.”
His father: “He’s held in his excitement and emotions to make sure that I stay focused. He gives me pointers here and there. He really stresses watching game film. He was a student of the game when he played and told me one of the biggest things that helped him was watching his own films. He’s been great for me because he hasn’t let it get to me. It’s easy to slack off after you get a starting job. He tries to keep me focused on what I have to do to improve my game and reminds me that if I don’t work hard enough, someone can take my job...There’s some pressure because my dad was here and I’m following in his footsteps. But I accept the challenge. The more pressure I can get, the happier I’ll be.”
WHAT OTHERS SAY:
Former USC offensive line coach Steve Greatwood: “Brent is the best pass protector we have. By far, he’s the most consistent, with the best technique.”
BRENT McCAFFREY CAREER STATISTICS