I spoke to former USC safety Charles Phillips on Friday about a fascinating topic . . . to me. Phillips always played in high school and at USC with a tooth pick in his mouth.
“It started in high school,” Phillips said. “It was just a habit. It was something I did. I never suffered the consequences of doing it, fortunately.”
It did not prevent Phillips from setting an NCAA record in 1974 for yards from interceptions (302). That included a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown in the famous 55-24 victory over Notre Dame.
Phillips said he stopped playing with a toothpick in the NFL, when he played with the Raiders.