Today’s installment of Trojans who died in 2021 looks at Jon Arnett, one of the best tailbacks in USC history.
Arnett died on Jan. 18. He was 85.
Arnett was a true South Los Angeles native: He went to 42nd Street Elementary School; Audubon Middle School, Manual Arts High School and USC. Then he played with the Rams at the Coliseum.
Some excerpts from the 1956 USC yearbook on Jon Arnett:
“As a sophomore, he led the team in scoring, rushing, pass completion percentage, punt returns, pass interceptions and had a 44.4 yard per punt average for the year.
“This last year, as a junior, he scored 108 points and was second in the nation in this category. He led the team in scoring, rushing, total offense, punting average, punt returns, kickoff returns and he led the backs in defensive points.
“Jon was named to the All-PCC team since he led the conference in scoring, punt returns and kickoff returns. Of the opponents that select all-opponent teams, he made those of Cal, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas and UCLA.
“In the Rose Bowl last year he averaged 12.5 yards per carry, completed 2 passes and punted for an amazing 61 yard average.”
Arnett is in the USC Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame and was a five-time Pro Bowl pick. He lettered at USC from 1954-56. His brother, Bob, played at USC in 1957-58.
Arnett was an All-American in 1955 and known to fans as “Jaguar” Jon Arnett. He was the No. 2 pick in the 1957 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.