The "Other" Running Backs
Since the early 1950s, USC has won football games with outstanding running backs. Mike Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Charles White and Marcus Allen each won the Heisman Trophy.
There have been other Trojan backs who could have won the award. And, perhaps should have.
Frank Gifford, switched to running back for his senior season, led the Trojans in rushing with 841 yards and was named All-American in 1951. Jon Arnett was an All-American in 1955.
Clarence Davis, who was so tough that he once had his gums sewed at halftime of a prep game, led the Trojans in rushing twice and was an All-American in 1969. Fullback Sam Cunningham, an All-American in 1972, once scored four touchdowns against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
Anthony Davis and Ricky Bell were both runners-up in Heisman voting. Davis, an All-American in 1974, led the Trojans in rushing three years and once scored six touchdowns against Notre Dame.
Bell was a two-time All-American who powered for 347 rushing yards against Washington State in 1976.
A 218-pounder, Bell once was taken from a game when his shoulder popped out of its socket. He jammed it back in place and complained to Coach John Robinson, "Why did you take me out?" His USC teammates call him "Mad Dog" and growled when he carried the ball.
"Bell makes them pay for every inch," a USC coach said.