A number of expectations

 

USC announced the numbers to be worn on the jerseys of incoming freshman this fall, along with number changes for current members of the team. Among the new digits issued, there is one that stands out among the rest, surfacing for the first time since 2007, and accompanied by enormous expectations.

Lamar Dawson was one many names inclusive to the celebration of signing day success. The Linebacker chose to leave his Kentucky home and head west, where he will not only be clad in the Trojan cardinal and gold, but also don the famed “55” across his uniform’s front and rear.

At Southern California, the number 55 is a privilege and not a right. You won’t find it draped and displayed in the Coliseum with honor, just as those worn by the program’s Heisman winners. But it does represent a special build of Trojan, specifically a linebacker, who possesses a skill set today that makes superstardom foreseeable in the future.

When Dawson pulls that jersey over his head in September, he instantly obtains membership to a club that includes Keith Rivers, Chris Claiborne, Willie McGinest, and Junior Seau. All wore the 55, excelled at their positions, and were All-Americans. And not only were those members of the club all selected in the first-round of the NFL draft, each was also chosen among the top-10 picks.

Junior Seau
Draft: 1990 Rd: 1 Pick: 5 (San Diego)

Willie McGinest
Draft: 1994 Rd. 1 Pick: 4 (New England)

Chris Claiborne
Draft: 1999 Rd: 1 Pick: 9 (Detroit)

Keith Rivers
Draft: 2008 Rd:1 Pick: 9 (Cincinnati)

While the majority of Claiborne’s magic was displayed in college, Seau is a 12-time  Pro Bowl selection, now awaiting enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McGinest is the only 55 to win a Super Bowl, accomplishing the feat three times as a starting member of the Patriots dynasty. Rivers, only four years removed from college, is still in the process of scripting his professional legacy, representing one of the key components to the Bengals defense.

Dawson was listed as a 4-star prospect by rivals.com, and rated the top player in his state. Like Rivers, The Trojans managed to free him from the local SEC grip and steer him towards the Pacific. And also like Rivers, what he will find is more pressure to perform than anyone else on the roster,  based on a number requested and granted.

USC 2011 Freshmen by the numbers

13  Tre Madden (Robert Woods now wearing #2)
14  Isiah Wiley
15  Ryan Henderson
17  Marqise Lee
35  Kris Albarado
37  Javorious “Buck” Allen
39  Charles Burks
41  Amir Carlisle
45  Anthony Sarao
55  Lamar Dawson
58  J.R. Tavai
64  Cody Temple
66  Marcus Martin
69  Cyrus Hobbi
70  Andrey Walker
85 Victor Blackwell
87  Junior Pomee
88  George Farmer
91  Steve Dillon
93  Greg Townsend
95  Devante Wilson
97  Christian Heyward
99  Antwaun Woods

[Roster-USC Official Athletic Site]

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~ by Anthony on June 14, 2011.

2 Responses to “A number of expectations”

  1. […] Home › NCAA Football › USC 55: A number of expectations […]

  2. The kids will do fine if Kiffin can inspire them all!

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