Who is the best two-sport athlete in USC history?
That’s a loaded question and there are many possible answers.
One of my first thoughts is to mention Earl McCullough, who was a serious competitior in two sports.
McCullough was a wide receiver at USC and played on the 1967 national championship team. He was a first-round pick in the NFL draft and offensive rookie of the year with the Detroit Lions.
He was a two-time NCAA champion in the 110-yard high hurdles (1967-68) and a member of the USC world-record holding 4 x 110-yard relay team that still holds the record.
McCullough also won a NCAA indoor title in the 60-yard dash and a gold medal in the hurdles at the 1967 Pan-American Games.
Now, it’s easy to say O.J. Simpson, who was also on the relay team with McCullough. But Simpson focused more on football.
USC mentioned Rodney Peete (football, baseball) a few weeks ago. He was All-Pac-10 in baseball his senior year. Don Buford was a tailback and a successful baseball career, winning a College World Series, hit a home run off Tom Seaver in the 1969 World Series and won the 1970 World Series with the Baltimore Orioles.
There’s also Bill Sharman, who was a basketball All-American at USC, won four NBA titles with the Boston Celtics and was a Brooklyn Dodger sitting in the dugout for the “Shot Heard Round The World” in 1951 at the Polo Grounds.
UPDATED: Willie Brown was two-time all-conference in baseball and a great two-way football player. Mike Garrett was all-conference in baseball in 1965 and won the Heisman Trophy. Jon Arnett was second in the long jump at the NCAA 1954 championships and an All-American in football.