Who Is The Best Two-Sport Athlete In USC History?

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.

Who else?

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.

16 thoughts on “Who Is The Best Two-Sport Athlete In USC History?

    1. Let’s give catcher and quarterback Steve Sogge some love for what he accomplished in baseball (national championship) and football (Rose Bowl and undefeated Pac schedule) in 1968.
      #OnlyRegularSeasonBlemishwas21-21TieWithNotreDame

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m voting for Jeff Trepaigner who helped USC Basketball to an Elite 8 appearance in 2001 And finished 2nd in the High Jump on the track team. I’m sorry but I am truly sad as I just lost my father to a massive heart attack. He was 83 & truly stubborn as he did not want to go to the hospital for fear of being “ saddled with Covid. Best memory of my dad – he took me to the Coliseum to see Anthony Davis- my first game ever I was 5 years old. Worst memory 1992 in Milwaukee seeing James Forest throw in a miracle to beat Harold Miner in the ncaa tournament.

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      2. Steve Sogge is the most underrated athlete in USC history. He was the QB & Catcher on National Championship teams. A great leader and a winner in everything he participated in.

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      1. He killed Notre Dame singlehandedly by scoring touchdowns every conceivable way you can score touchdowns….
        #IsThatLastTimeHeltonBeatNotreDame?

        Liked by 3 people

  1. I played with both Earl and OJ on the 1967 football team… Both were superb athletes, but to set the world record in the 4×100 on USC’s Track Team and win a Heisman…. OJ wins!
    OJ didn’t even run the anchor! It was Lennox Miller.. from Jamacia..
    I remember one day, after football practice, I ran a 40 yard sprint race with OJ and a couple of other players.. I was pretty fast for a LB. (4.7 in the 40) and ran track in High School. It was a Joke, I was even with OJ for about the first 9 yards, then he proceeded to smoothly accelerate. His speed came at the top end.. 50 to 100 yards. I was at about 30 yards when he finished the 40.. I think he ran a 4.1 or 4.2 forty!!
    Lennox Miller was very quiet,but supremely confident, I went to SC Dental School with him. He took the Silver in the 1968 Mexico games and while in Dental School, he would run track after classes… he took the Bronze in the 1972 Munich Games with a minimal of training. Very very impressive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe that the ’67 relay team set the record on a dirt/cinder track, not the artificial/composite surface that is used today. Could have been worth another half second or more.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lennox was a great man. One of my favorites. He and DQ (Don Quarrie) Were like my uncles. They took care of me when I needed help. Wonderful humans. Ingar and I ran track together at SC and were close. Couldn’t have had 3 better friends. Rest In peace Doc. You are eternally missed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There are some great two- sport athletes with every sport presenting different challenges: Hitting a baseball is probably the hardest single thing to do in sports; Football is the most physically demanding and requires the most toughness; Basketball has the overall most skilled and athletic players and is the most exclusive. Good question and topic, Scott Wolf.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff Trepagnier in Basketball and Track & Field. He was over
    7′ feet in the High Jump and Long Jumped without necessary training. Beat ucla one year walking on to the field at Loker
    Stadium day of the meet. Johnny Werhas was very good at both
    Baseball / Basketball in the late 50’s – early 60’s.

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