Fans of USC football have been on a roller coaster this season, but they have many things to be proud about. After a rough start, the Trojans had an eight-game winning streak. Their victorious run qualified them for the “Granddaddy of them All,” the Rose Bowl. They will battle against Penn State University on Monday, January 2 at 2:00 pm in Pasadena.
A former Trojan will also be honored as 1990 Rose Bowl MVP Ricky Ervins will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Sunday. Before Ervins helped the Washington Redskins win Super Bowl XXVI and he played for the Trojans in three Rose Bowl games, the Pasadena native attended Joh Muir High School.
Like Ervins, several USC football players where born or attended high schools in Los Angeles or in many of the other regions that make up southern California.
One of the most prolific Trojans has been Adoree’ Jackson, who has been the Swiss Army Knife of the lineup. Although he is a starting cornerback, he has made strides as a wide receiver and punt returner. Jackson has made 6 touchdown catches and 135 tackles in his career as a Trojan. Prior to is USC days, Jackson played multiple positions on the Serra High school football team in Gardena. Jackson helped Serra win the CIF state division II championship in 2012.
Another Trojan stand out was wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who currently has 24 career touchdown receptions. Smith-Schuster leads the Trojans with 63 receptions for 781 yards. He is an alum of Poly High school in Long Beach, where he was a wide receiver and safety for their football team. He aided Poly in winning the CIF Pac-5 division Championship.
Starting junior outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu currently has 90 career tackles for the Trojans. He played football and basketball for the Narbonne Gauchos. For football, Nwosu was a member of the All-Marine League first team and the All-L.A. City Division I first team.
Sophomore defensive end Rasheem Green was another stand out from Serra, where he was a defensive lineman. During his senior year at Serra, Green was a member of the 2014 USA Today All-USA First Team. He currently has 50 tackles and 2 blocked field goals this season.
Los Angeles native Malik Dorton has 11 career tackles at USC. He prepped at St. John Bosco in Bellflower, where he made the ESPN 300 and helped the team win the CIF state Open Division Championship. Ajene Harris, who is also from Los Angeles, attended Crenshaw High School.
Sophomore free safety Marvell Tell III has 77 career tackles and started every game this season. The Pasadena native attended Crespi High School in Encino. In 2014, Tell executed 15 catches for 251 yards as a wide receiver and 54 tackles as a safety. Another Crespi alum player is Jordan Simmons.
Senior wide receiver Darreus Rogers has 122 career catches for 1,445 yards with 10 touchdowns. Rogers is the 2016 USC Offensive Perimeter Player of the Year. The Compton native was a wide out for the Carson high school football team, making 64 catches for 1,251 yards with 10 touchdowns in 2011.
Wide receiver Deontay Burnett cultivated his football skills at Serra. He was elected to the 2014 All-Mission League first team. As a Trojan, Burnett made 52 career catches 619 yards. Other players who attended Serra are Jalen Greene, John Houston Jr., C.J. Pollard, Olajuwon Tucker, Jalen Jones, and Oluwole Betiku Jr.
Fullback Reuben Peters attended Loyola High School where he was a member of the 2013 All-Serra League first team. He recently won the 2016 USC Lifters Award.
The USC football roster shows the talent that comes out of Los Angeles and the cities that surround it. The Rose Bowl will highlight the athleticism of Southern California.