Charles White, 1979 Heisman Trophy winner and legendary USC tailback, died from cancer at 64
Charles White ran for 2,050 yards and 19 touchdowns in 1979, the year after he had been a member of the Trojans’ 1978 national championship team and won college football’s top individual honour. He played for the Trojans for four years and finished as the school’s all-time top rusher with 6,245 yards and 59 touchdowns. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (27th overall) in the 1980 NFL Draft. From 1985 through 1988, he played with the Los Angeles Rams. During his professional career, he carried for 3,075 yards and 23 touchdowns.
John Robinson, White’s coach at USC and the Los Angeles Rams, said of White,”He was the toughest player I’ve ever coached, “He was really unusual in that regard. He was a great player and just loved playing the game. Those are the things I remember the most. He was a really tough guy, and he was an extremely gifted athlete. But the toughness … wow!”
White was successful in both collegiate and the professional leagues. He earned the Heisman Trophy in 1979 and was also recognised with the Maxwell and Walter Camp honours that year. He was also selected a unanimous first-team All-American twice.
USC AD Mike Bohn called White “one of the all-time great Trojans. “A Rose Bowl legend, a two-time unanimous All-American and a NCAA record setter, he made USC proud donning the Cardinal and Gold. He will always be remembered by the Trojan Family for the history he made on the football field and the legacy he left at Troy. Fight On Forever!”
When he wasn’t making headlines as a star player for the Trojans, he was behind the scenes from 1993 to 1997 as the team’s running backs coach.